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As Hollywood's writers union reached a preliminary labour agreement with major studios, celebrities lauded everyone’s efforts, while the Writers Guild of America (WGA), which represents 11,500 film and television writers, described the deal as "exceptional" with "meaningful gains and protections for writers". The strike has been going on since July.
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Actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas was among those who applauded everyone's efforts in bringing about the tentative but essential agreement. She took to her Instagram handle and wrote, “Bravo!!! This is the result of a committed, unified stance. Hope that this positive momentum can drive closure on the SAG AFRA discussions too. After several long consecutive days of negotiations, the #WGA and the #AMPTP have reached a tentative deal on a new contract in a major development that could precipitate the end of a historic, 146-day #WritersStrike."
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US President Joe Biden also welcomed the development. In a statement, he said: “This agreement, including assurances related to artificial intelligence, did not come easily. But its formation is a testament to the power of collective bargaining. There simply is no substitute for employers and employees coming together to negotiate in good faith toward an agreement that makes a business stronger and secures the pay, benefits, and dignity that workers deserve. I urge all employers to remember that all workers – including writers, actors, and autoworkers – deserve a fair share of the value their labor helped create.”
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Actor Mark Ruffalo tweeted: 'Bravo! WGA proves when we fight we win.'
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US comedian, writer and TV presenter Adam Conover, tweeted: 'We did it. We have a tentative deal.'
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But is the strike over? Not yet. The two sides still need to work out the language of the final contract, which will then need approval from the leadership of the WGA, as well as its 11,500 members. Analysts said the approval should come swiftly, perhaps within a week. Writers will also no longer be on the picket lines as the union has asked them to stop protesting.
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What were the writers' demands? Both the sides have not yet disclosed the details of the tentative agreement. Writers began the strike on May 2, asking for increased royalties, mandatory staffing of TV writing rooms and safeguards to their jobs from the use of artificial intelligence (AI). Another demand was that they get residual payments when a show becomes a hit. Media reports suggested that studios had given in to several of those demands, including higher wages.
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When will TV shows and movies return? With writers expected to return to the office, late-night talk shows such as "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" could be among the first to be back. But for everything else, it could take longer as the actors and performers' union is still on strike. Their demands are similar to that of writers, including higher wages and protection against AI use.
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