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Striking US Writers Guild reaffirms its commitment to “fixing a broken system”.

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Source: Screendaily / Jeremy Kay

WGA members on strike in Hollywood

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has reaffirmed its resolve to reach a deal and “fix a broken system” as the strike enters its tenth week.

The Guild, whose members went on strike on May 2 over demands related to compensation, streamer residuals and artificial intelligence, also expressed solidarity with SAG-AFTRA as the actors group continues extended contract talks through July 12.

Beyond that WGA said it would not comment on SAG-AFTRA negotiations.

As many in Hollywood believe the WGA strike is likely to continue into August and possibly September, the Guild remained defiant, asserting that the refusal by studios and streamers “to recognize and remedy the legitimate concerns of labor keeps us out on the picket lines, keeps the industry at a stand-still, and keeps thousands out of work”.

WGA leadership reminded members that its priority was not a date but a deal “no matter how long the companies take”, adding “there is no way around us”.

The writers strike has already had a heavy impact on production as many scripted television shoots and features have been put on hold.

The fear in Hollywood is that a double strike involving SAG-AFTRA – were it unable to reach an agreement with studio and streamer negotiations representative Alliance Of Motion Picture And Television Producers (AMPTP) – would essentially bring to a halt all Hollywood production.

Such a scenario would also have far-reaching consequences for Hollywood shoots anywhere in the world involving SAG-AFTRA members.

SAG-AFTRA is understood to be preparing interim agreements allowing purely independent shoots with its members to go ahead even in the event of a strike. The Guild’s members have already voted overwhelmingly in favour of going on strike should talks with AMPTP break down.

The Directors Guild Of America has averted a strike after its contract talks ended with a new three-year agreement with the studios and streamers.

The WGA’s memo to members appears below:

DEAR MEMBERS,

On Friday evening, June 30th, SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP agreed to extend their negotiations until midnight on July 12th. We will not comment while the negotiations are still ongoing. We will return to you at the appropriate time to discuss where we stand and what we plan to do next. This goal hasn’t changed since May 1, and it won’t change no matter how long companies take. The Writers Guild exists to fix a broken industry, to rescue creative talent from tech companies and conglomerates and to make writing a viable profession for us and future generations.

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