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The last time there was a strike in Hollywood among writers it did serious damage to our favorite TV shows and movies. Now on the eve of another one, it appears that the two sides may be on the road to a solution. The possibility of another Hollywood writers strike has been building for quite some time as the Writers Guild of America, West had a number of issues they wanted to be addressed. However, the Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers sat at the bargaining table late into the night and the two sides now have apparently reached a tentative agreement.
According to the New York Times, the two sides have reached a deal which will bring in more than $130 million in additional revenue for their members over the life of the contract. The Writers Guild was primarily looking to see an income bump on writer's pay from streaming shows. They also wanted to see a change in how TV writers were paid, as many TV series are now seeing fewer episodes produced than previously, while those episodes are taking longer to make, resulting in writers getting paid less while working more.
The details of the deal have yet to be released so we don't know exactly what concessions were made to the Writers Guild. In a website posting, the Writers Guild does say that they did not receive everything that they wanted in the deal, but it does appear that they got enough. The Writers Guild will have to vote on the new three-year contract before it is officially accepted but based on the social media response from many writers it at least appears that the outlook is good.
If no deal had been made a strike from the Writers Guild would have sent a shockwave through Hollywood. Writers on everything from late night talk shows to major motion pictures would have ceased working almost entirely. While this would only have had a minor impact on films that already had completed scripts, anything that was currently in the writing phase would immediately cease moving forward. Based on the production timelines of films, television would have seen a larger impact first, but considering how far in advance studios are now planning films, a writers strike would have essentially destroyed the release calendar as we currently see it.
The last time that writers went on strike it only lasted 100 days, but the repercussions were felt for months afterward. Certainly, as fans of movies and television, we're glad that a strike was averted this time. Odds are that negotiations will be serious in three years when this new deal expires, but at least we'll have three years of uninterrupted entertainment.