The Writers Guild and Hollywood studios reached a deal this week, subject to the members’ ratification. It was a big win for the union as the studios were extremely reluctant to play ball when the strike first began five months ago.
Below are the highlights of the deal, from the WGA’s summary on its website.
Most MBA minimums will increase by 5% on ratification of the contract, 4% on 5/2/2024 and 3.5% on 5/2/2025. Some minimums and rates increase less, mostly by 3% each year, while a few rates increase only once or do not increase over the contract. These exceptions are the result of patterns established in the industry.
Increased Health and Pension Contribution Rate
The Health Fund contribution on reportable earnings will increase 0.5% in the second year of the agreement, from 11.5% to 12%. The Guild also has the right to divert an additional 0.5% in each of the second and third years of the contract from various minimum increases to either the Health Fund or Pension Plan.
Increased Health and Pension Contributions for Writing Teams
Each writer on a writing team employed for a script will receive pension and health contributions up to the relevant cap as though they were a single writer, rather than splitting the applicable cap. In addition, when a writing team is employed on a series, the contribution for each writer on the team will be made on the full weekly minimum instead of one-half of the weekly minimum.
We have established regulations for the use of artificial intelligence (“AI”) on MBA-covered projects in the following ways:
- AI can’t write or rewrite literary material, and AI-generated material will not be considered source material under the MBA, meaning that AI-generated material can’t be used to undermine a writer’s credit or separated rights.
- A writer can choose to use AI when performing writing services, if the company consents and provided that the writer follows applicable company policies, but the company can’t require the writer to use AI software (e.g., ChatGPT) when performing writing services.
- The Company must disclose to the writer if any materials given to the writer have been generated by AI or incorporate AI-generated material.
- The WGA reserves the right to assert that exploitation of writers’ material to train AI is prohibited by MBA or other law
Read the entire agreement changes here.