The union representing thousands of Hollywood writers voted Tuesday to end the strike, permitting their members to return to work Wednesday. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 26 (UPI) -- After a 146-day strike, Hollywood writers will return to work Wednesday, their union said late Tuesday following a leadership vote to end the work stoppage and approve an agreement on a new deal that was reached with major studios over the weekend.
In a statement on its website, the Writers Guild of America said three of its committees voted unanimously to recommend the package that will now be sent to its members for a ratification vote to be held from Monday through Oct. 9.
The committees also voted to end the strike as of 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.
"This allows writers to return to work during the ratification process, but does not affect the membership's right to make a final determination on contract approval," the union said.
The WGA, which has some 11,000 members, and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reached a tentative deal Sunday, raising expectations that the second-longest writers strike in history would come to an end.
For the first time, the union on Tuesday released details of the deal, which it had called "exceptional" the night it was agreed to. The three-year deal includes pay bumps and increased residuals from streaming on services such as Netflix and Disney+, which was a driving issue behind the strike.
The deal will see foreign streaming residuals now based on foreign subscribers, amounting to a 76% increase, meaning Netflix's three-year foreign residual will increase from the current $18,684 for a one-hour episode to $32,830.
It also includes bonuses for streamed series and movies based on viewership.
Another prominent concern for striking writers was the burgeoning industry and use of artificial intelligence in the creation of media.
The deal stipulates that AI-generated material is not considered literary source material or assigned material and that studios cannot require writers to use AI software, but writers may use it if they choose to and their studio consents.
The studio must also disclose to writers if any material they've been given has been generated by AI or incorporates material written by such software.
The deal comes in at an estimated rough value of $233 million a year. That is down from the $429 million in the writers' proposal but significantly higher than the $86 million offer made by the AMPTP trade alliance of major film and television producers.
The writers went on strike in early May after negotiations with studios and streaming services fell through, bringing a halt to television productions.
In mid-July, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists joined the movement, shutting down any remaining active studio productions.
SAG-AFTRA is still on strike to secure its own deal with studios where wages, streaming residuals and AI remain sticking points.