Writers Strike Nearly Over - WGA and AMPTP Reach a Tentative Deal!
Early last week we ran an update on the writers strike that stated that the end was finally near. There had been a breakthrough in talks between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) that previous weekend, although nothing was official yet and no one wanted to jump the gun at the time. However, as of 3AM this Saturday morning, February 9th, the WGA and AMPTP have reached a tentative deal, putting the final cap on the writers strike! After 96 days of picketing since November 5th, 2007, and endless battles between the producers and writers, the end has finally come. All members of the WGA still need to approve the contract today in meetings in LA and NY for it to officially end, but it sounds like everything is finally ready to go.
Details are still pouring in from various sources, but Variety has confirmed that a deal has been reached as of early this morning. Ever since that update last Monday, rumors have been circulating that an agreement had been reached between the writers and producers, but the exact details had yet to be finalized and approved by all of the writers before anything was official. All-member meetings have been arranged by the WGA for today, Saturday, in both Los Angeles and New York. WGA leaders will go over the details of the proposed contract and discussion will ensue amongst members. In order for the deal to be official and for this thing to fully end, WGA's 10,500 members all must approve the contract.
WGA West president Patrick Verrone and WGA East president Michael Winship sent out an email to members Saturday morning alerting them that a deal has been made that "protects a future in which the Internet becomes the primary means of both content creation and delivery." You can download a summary of the tentative agreement from WGA's website: wga_tent_summary.pdf.
Finally the writers strike has ended, just shy of almost 100 days. The new questions that arise lie in the impact that the strike will have on the movie industry over the next few years. Will there be a lack of quality movies in 2009 because too many have been delayed going into production? Will the jobs that were lost over the course of the strike have an impact on productions that will now begin? There are still a lot of questions to be answered, but at least the strike has ended and the writers can get back to work on all the great scripts that we've been waiting for. Huzzah!