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WGA Picketing at CBS Television City

Source: Allen J. Schaben / Getty / WGA

Rejoice: Hollywood is close to returning to work, and the writers are getting close to what they hit the picket lines demanding.

CNN reports that the WGA (Writers Guild of America) and major film and television studios have reached a tentative agreement after days of negotiating, giving the hope that the months-long Hollywood freeze is ending.

The WGA claimed victory in an email statement to its members shared by the news website.

Per CNN:

“What we have won in this contract – most particularly, everything we have gained since May 2nd – is due to the willingness of this membership to exercise its power, to demonstrate its solidarity, to walk side-by-side, to endure the pain and uncertainty of the past 146 days,” the WGA said in an email to members on Sunday. “It is the leverage generated by your strike, in concert with the extraordinary support of our union siblings, that finally brought the companies back to the table to make a deal.”

The terms of the tentative deal have yet to be revealed, and CNN reports it still needs to be ratified by WGA members representing more than 11,000 writers.

The nearly five-month-long strike, if continued, would have been the longest in WGA history, almost eclipsing the 1988 strike that lasted 154 days.

In the email to writers, the WGA had glowing words for the deal: “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 Is Not Over

The WGA notes that the tentative agreement does not signal an immediate end to the strike but will suspend active WGA protesting and possibly authorizing its members to return to work on Tuesday.

“To be clear, no one is to return to work until specifically authorized to by the Guild. We are still on strike until then,” the WGA wrote. “But we are, as of today, suspending WGA picketing.”

Simultaneously, the WGA encouraged its members to join the actors still on the picket lines this week.

SAG-AFTRA, representing about 160,000 actors, has been on strike since July.

The Cost of The Strike

Money was lost. According to CNN, Hollywood’s pockets took a hit to the sum of more than $5 billion nationwide. The bright lights and film cameras coming to a complete halt also impacted other industries like restaurants, prop shops, and service firms.

According to the Empire State Development, New York alone lost $1.3 billion and 17,000 jobs due to the disruption of 11 major productions.

Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Getty