Already a member? Log In

The WGA Deal 10 Commandments, Part I

The WGA says the new deal contains $233 million per year of gains, which is almost three times the $86 million that the guild says the studios were offering before the nearly five-month strike (though it’s nowhere near the $429 million the guild sought).
The WGA says the new deal contains $233 million per year of gains, which is almost three times the $86 million that the guild says the studios were offering before the nearly five-month strike (though it’s nowhere near the $429 million the guild sought). Photo: John Nacion/Getty Images
Jonathan Handel
September 28, 2023

Have you read the full Writers Guild deal with the studios? No? I’ve now combed through all mind-numbing 94 pages of the contract so you don’t have to. Unlike in past years, where WGA members had up to three weeks of balloting, members will have only one fast-tracked week to vote, starting Monday, the same day that SAG-AFTRA is restarting negotiations with Carol Lombardini, the AMPTP and “company representatives” in the room—which I’ve learned mean the company C.E.O.s, a critical necessity to getting a SAG-AFTRA deal done. Meanwhile, the WGA deal will almost certainly pass—after the 2008 strike, 93.6 percent of guild voters said Yes—and become not just the governing document for studio-writer relations for the next three years, but also an influence on the resumed actors’ talks.  

The WGA says the new deal contains $233 million per year of gains, which is almost three times the $86 million that the guild says the studios were offering before the nearly five-month strike (though it’s nowhere near the $429 million the guild sought). Those numbers are a bit misleading—how can A.I. protections be valued, exactly?—and how you feel about unions probably dictates whether you believe the estimated $5 billion in lost economic activity during the five-month strike was worth these gains. With all that in mind, let’s look at ten major takeaways from the WGA deal. We’re publishing the first five tonight and the rest on Sunday.