Writer’s Guild Strike Against AI in Hollywood ‘Tentatively’ Over After 146 Days

After 146 grueling days, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Hollywood studios have reached a tentative artificial intelligence (AI) agreement, marking the end of one of Hollywood’s longest strikes.

This strike consisted of thousands of actors, writers, and other related studio crew members. It has highlighted widespread anxieties over technological changes, particularly with AI.

Writer’s Guild Calls Off AI Hollywood Strike

The potential three-year contract promises to increase pay rates and residual payments for streaming shows. Additionally, it will implement new rules regarding the use of AI.

The WGA negotiating committee declared in a message to its members:

“We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional — with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.”

The strike was, at its roots, a response to industry shifts threatening the livelihoods of writers, particularly those brought about by streaming.

The strikes also include the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), which has yet to reach a compromise.

Share of people who support the use of AI in TV and film industries in US, July 2023. Source: StatistaShare of people who support the use of AI in TV and film industries in US, July 2023. Source: Statista

A Delicate Balance

The strike has also highlighted concerns over AI and its potential impact on the industry. As seen with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, AI algorithms can consume input data and output derivative works based on that data.

While this may not violate copyright laws, it raises questions about the future of creative work and the potential for AI to replace human creativity.

Now, the hope is to accelerate stalled talks among the 160,000-member SAG-AFTRA to get actors back to work.

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However, the road to recovery is long. Scripts must be written, and the studios must still reach a new contract with SAG-AFTRA. Despite the new agreement, it’s unlikely that production will restart right away.

This strike has not only affected the livelihoods of thousands but has also exposed the industry’s vulnerability to technological changes.

As Hollywood moves forward, the challenge will be to strike a balance between embracing new technology and protecting the rights and livelihoods of its creative workforce.


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