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Writers' Strike Averted as WGA Makes Tentative Deal With Studios
After a tense midnight negotiation straight out of an episode of Scandal, the looming threat of a writers' strike is officially no more; the Writers Guild of America was able to hammer out a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, reports Deadline.
Never been quite so happy to sit down to work... pic.twitter.com/aTajNow26V— David Slack (@slack2thefuture) May 2, 2017
The WGA voted to authorize a potential writers' strike by a 96% margin on April 24 and vowed to stop work on upon expiration of their existing contract at midnight on Tuesday, May 2 if studios didn't agree to their demands for increased residuals, secured family leave and improved health and pension plans, among other issues. An entertainment-industry crisis was averted when the AMPTP signed off on a new three-year film and TV contract for WGA members that addressed many, if not all, of writers' grievances. "The WGA mobilized in a powerful way, and I believe we made a positive compromise," WGA member and strike captain Jonathan Caren told LAist, praising the new agreement's structural change to writer payment structure, increase in residuals, maternity/paternity plan and raises in minimums.
Binge-watchers who remember being left without their TV fix during the 2006-'07 writers' strike should be particularly grateful for the last-minute brokering of peace between the WGA and the AMPTP, considering that the last scripted-TV strike allowed the schedule to be swallowed up by reality programming such as now-President Trump's The Celebrity Apprentice—and may have cost the industry up to 2.5 billion dollars, reports Esquire.
Thanks to the WGA and the Studios for reaching a deal. UNIONS WORK! Now we can do what we do best: eat Pringles and write jokes about farts— Ike Barinholtz (@ikebarinholtz) May 2, 2017
"I've never been so happy to not get a day off work," laughed TV writer and WGA member Lila Byock. "Being a writer can be scary and lonely, but it's a lot easier knowing you've got one of America's strongest unions backing you up," Byock, a former writer for The Leftovers, told LAist. "In an age of precarious health insurance protections and pernicious Right to Work laws, this negotiation is a demonstration of the power of collective bargaining."
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