The ratification of the new contract was widely expected, with minimal practical effects anticipated from the vote. The Writers Guild board had already unanimously approved the agreement, and the 148-day screenwriter strike, one of the longest in the union’s history, officially ended on September 27. Picketing was promptly suspended, and writers have already resumed work. Talk shows like “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” have already started airing new episodes, while productions of scripted movies and TV shows remain on hold.
During the screenwriter voting period, the entertainment industry’s attention shifted to the negotiations between studios and SAG-AFTRA, the union representing striking actors. Talks between the two sides began on October 2, with more sessions scheduled thereafter. This marks the first formal discussions since the actors went on strike on July 14.
The actors’ union, like the screenwriters guild, seeks wage increases and protections regarding the use of artificial intelligence. This is the first time in 63 years that both unions have gone on strike simultaneously. The strikes have had a significant financial impact, affecting not only writers and actors but also over 100,000 behind-the-scenes workers who were jobless for months. The California economy has suffered an estimated loss of $5 billion, and major studio stock prices have plummeted. Additionally, the box office has experienced a decline with movie releases being postponed until 2024.