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Hollywood writers reach tentative deal with studios to end historic strike

Hollywood writers reached a tentative agreement with studios on Sunday to end a historic strike that started in early May and has lasted nearly 150 days.

The details of the deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which bargains on behalf of the major studios including Warner Bros. (WBD), Disney (DIS), Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), NBCUniversal (CMCSA), Paramount (PARA), and Sony (SONY), have not yet been released as the two sides are still drafting final contract language.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) had been fighting for higher compensation, increases to streaming residuals, transparency around viewership data, a guaranteed minimum length of employment, writing room staffing requirements, and further protections surrounding the use of artificial intelligence.

The two sides had resumed talks on Wednesday after over a month of no communication.

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"What we have won in this contract — most particularly, everything we have gained since May 2nd — is due to the willingness of this membership to exercise its power, to demonstrate its solidarity, to walk side-by-side, to endure the pain and uncertainty of the past 146 days," the WGA wrote in a letter to members on Sunday.

"We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional — with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership," the union added.

The actors strike, still ongoing, is largely expected to reach a similar conclusion, although the union, SAG-AFTRA, said to members in an e-mail on Sunday: "While we look forward to reviewing the WGA and AMPTP’s tentative agreement, we remain committed to achieving the necessary terms for our members."

The actors union has been on strike for more than 70 days so far.

Both unions had been fighting for more protections surrounding the role of artificial intelligence in media and entertainment in addition to higher streaming residuals as more movies and TV shows go directly to streaming.

Industry watchers have said the "double whammy" work stoppage will likely have serious economic implications.

Meredith Stiehm, president of the Writers Guild of America, pickets outside Paramount Pictures studio, Monday, May 8, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Meredith Stiehm, president of the Writers Guild of America, pickets outside Paramount Pictures studio, Monday, May 8, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Last month, Kevin Klowden, chief global strategist at the Milken Institute, estimated the strikes could cost the national economy $5 billion-plus, primarily due to lost wages.

According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in motion picture and sound recording industries decreased by 17,000 in August "reflecting strike activity." It was the first time the strikes registered a hit to the monthly jobs report.

Alexandra Canal is a Senior Reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @allie_canal, LinkedIn, and email her at alexandra.canal@yahoofinance.com.

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