NewsOpenAI / ChatGPT / Artificial Intelligence

Hollywood Writers Call Off Five-Month Strike Citing Successful Agreement Negotiations

In an official communication, Hollywood writers ended the five-month strike following the new agreement regarding artificial intelligence (AI) usage within the film and television industry.

The Hollywood writers ended the strike now ranked among the longest staged by the Writers Guild of America (WGA). The writers called off the five-month strike five days short of the standoff to break the record.

WGA Reach Tentative Agreement to End Strike

The WGA conveyed a detailed statement on Tuesday, September 26, urging the writers to resume duties after midnight local time. The WGA statement revealed the union secured a tentative agreement that captures clear guidelines on AI usage in the film and entertainment industry. 

The Tuesday evening statement assured the members of reaching a tentative agreement on the new 2023 MBA. It features the agreement in-principle on the primary points due for submission for drafting the contract language. 

The WGA statement revealed that the agreement’s provisions mainly showcased the significant concessions secured by the writers. In particular, WGA identified the essential areas as clarity on the residual payments due from shows provided via streaming services.

The agreement identified that the writers would enhance transparency on viewership statistics from streaming platforms such as Netflix. The WGA informed union members that the agreement outlines the minimums for writers engaged in pre-development mini settings.

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WGA Lauds Clarity on AI Usage Guidelines

WGA announcement reaffirms that the tentative agreement unveils clear guidelines on AI usage. The inclusion of AI usage guidelines in the scope of the agreement is unsurprising, given that the WGA sought to address the concerns raised by screenwriters on threats posed by ChatGPT and rival AI-powered Chatbots.

The document outlines that AI is incapable of writing or rewriting literary material. Also, it added that AI-generated material lacks recognition as source material under the new MBA. It implies that one cannot utilize AI-generated material to undermine the writer’s separate rights and credit. 

Writers Can Utilize Artificial Intelligence

The agreement acknowledged that writers could use AI tools to execute their writing princess. Although such would require the company’s approval and compliance with the guiding policies, the entity cannot be obligated to use particular AI software.

The agreement obligates the company to notify the writer if the materials supplied are AI-crafted or capture AI-generated content. The agreement bestowed the WGA with the authority to label adapting writers’ content for use in AI training as a breach of the MBA and applicable rules.

The tentative agreement constitutes a product of a five-day intensive negotiation. The negotiations feature WGA against a representative consortium drawing membership from studios, streaming service providers, and production entities. 

The WGA asked its members to vote on the tentative deal between October 2 and 9. Observers of the duel between Hollywood writers and the film industry constitutes a mere process of formalizing the procedure.

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Hollywood Standoff Unresolved Considering Ongoing SAG-AFTRA Strike 

The WGA agreement hardly resolves the concerns raised by actors. As such, Hollywood is yet to regain normalcy, considering that the actors via the SAG-AFTRA union have sustained their strike.

The standoff between the union representing the actors and the entertainment companies shows the ongoing labor dispute would stretch for several weeks. The standoff is aggravating the hardline adopted by the actors since mid-July.  

While the actors may resume work, it would take the industry several days to bring all parties on set. Also, the catch-up process would take longer to execute pending deliveries, worsened by the accumulated delays. 

Editorial credit: Ringo Chiu / Shutterstock.com 


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Stephen Causby

Stephen Causby is an experienced crypto journalist who writes for Tokenhell. He is passionate for coverage in crypto news, blockchain, DeFi, and NFT.

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