The Hollywood Writers Guild has been engaged in a tense, months-long strike, but it may be coming to an end soon. The months-long writers strike has been one of the longest and most contentious labor disputes in recent Hollywood history. The majority of the more than 10,000 Guild members have been on strike since November 5, 2007, and the Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are now close to reaching a tentative agreement.
Initially, the writers went on strike demanding better pay and improved health and pension benefits. They also wanted greater financial participation in online streaming and DVD sales of their work, and protection of their copyright in the digital age. The Producers Alliance quickly responded by offering a new written agreement with improved terms, albeit one which was still deemed too weak by the Writers Guild.
After months of heated negotiations, the two sides may finally be on the brink of coming to an agreement. At the end of October 2008, the Writers Guild seemed to be cautiously optimistic about the chances of a settlement, and has confirmed that tentative agreements have been reached on most of the issues at stake. Furthermore, there have been reports of progress on some of the most contentious issues, including residual payments for streaming and DVD sales.
Though the final details have yet to be ironed out, it is likely that the Writers Guild and the Producers Alliance will announce a new deal before too long. It seems, then, that the longest and most contentious labor dispute in recent Hollywood history is finally coming to a close, bringing relief to fans and stability to the industry. With any luck, better financial and creative protections for the writers will ensure that the positive trend of television and film production in Hollywood will be maintained in the long run.