The Hollywood writers' strike has come to an end after over 140 days. The tentative deal between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) has still yet to be ratified with a vote, but writers have been given the green light to return to production. Despite this monumental deal, major productions are still halted by the ongoing SAG-AFTRA actors strike.
Yahoo Finance's Akiko Fujita joins the Live show to break down the details of the new contract between the writers and studio executives, as well as the current status of the actors' strike.
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SEANA SMITH: Let's talk about another headline here, and that's, the Hollywood writers strike has finally come to a close after 148 days. The WGA strike was just shy of becoming the longest running strike in Hollywood history, falling short of the 154-day strike back in 1988. Let's bring Yahoo Finance's Akiko Fujita to give us more insight into the contract, what we know about this agreement. Akiko--
AKIKO FUJITA: Good morning to you, Seana. That's right. Well, this deal still needs to be ratified by members of the Writers Guild. But for the first time today, writers do have the green light to go back on the job after five months off the job. Now the final deal that was reached between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers points to a real shift here in the way that writers are now compensated in the streaming era.
Specifically, writers will receive a pay increase ranging from 3 and 1/2 to 5% over the course of the three-year contract. Members will now be eligible for residuals, based on streaming views, with a 50% bonus baked in for projects viewed by 20% of a given platform subscribers, and that is over the course of the initial 90 days of release.
Writers also secured productions against artificial intelligence, a key-sticking point here for rewriting original materials, or source material. That means studios will now be required to disclose to writers, whether, in fact source material was generated by AI. And studios will also be required to staff a minimum of three writer producers for first-season shows that have a runtime of roughly 20 weeks or more.
Now, while writers have a deal in hand, major production for content isn't expected to resume largely, because there are no actors to go forward on scripted content. The members of SAG-AFTRA remain on strike. If the Union does not reach an agreement soon, production is likely to be pushed back even further.
Now, meantime, the economic impact from this strike continues to ripple across the region, with everybody from caterers to dry cleaners, as well as restaurants, all on hold over the last five months. The latest numbers from the Milken Institute estimate it's already taken $5 billion from the region guys.
BRAD SMITH: And so are there portions, or at least, elements of what the WGA is voting for, and their attempt to ratify an agreement that could also be passed through into the actor's side as well, Akiko?
AKIKO FUJITA: Well, artificial intelligence, certainly a significant one. In the case of SAG-AFTRA, they are looking for protections, especially for background actors. We know them as extras, that's been the traditional term here. But background actors arguing that they shouldn't be able to have actors scanned, only to have AI generate them in the background. So that's one of many issues here.
It's worth noting, though, SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP have not met in roughly two months. There is no schedule, at least a meeting on the table right now. But the expectation is, now that there is a WGA deal on the table, SAG-AFTRA is next in line. The hope is things could get resolved pretty quickly there. So the year is not awash.