The Writers Guild of America members returned to work with a tentative deal in hand, having put down their picket signs and taken up their pencils after 148 days of strike action.

SAG-AFTRA members are still demonstrating outside the studio gates, but they are not by themselves.

More than 600 individuals showed out on the picket line outside the Warner Bros. lot on Friday morning, several days after the WGA signed its historic deal with the AMPTP, and before SAG-AFTRA returns to the table on October 2.

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The WGA settlement seemed to give members more confidence for their upcoming negotiations. The WGA pact, according to Ghostbusters actor Ernie Hudson, “definitely gave me hope.” “The fact that the executives are at least willing to try gave me encouragement.” The AMPTP and the actors union jointly released a statement on Wednesday announcing the return of discussions on Monday, stating that “several executives from AMPTP member companies will be in attendance.”

“I want to see them there and I want to see them be serious about a deal,” Hudson went on. There is a lot of posturing during negotiations, which makes them challenging, but hopefully we have already accomplished that and are now prepared to conclude this. Hudson was walking the line alongside Emmy winner Beau Bridges, who said, “You see it in the heightened energy here today—we’re getting close to some serious negotiations.”

The talks on Monday occupied everyone’s thoughts at the picket.

RELATED: After Months Of Strikes, The WGA And AMPTP Have Reached A Provisional Deal

“We are demonstrating strength in numbers as they are about to enter into negotiations on Monday,” said actress Diana-Maria Riva, who co-founded Latinas Acting Up—a group that has been drawing attention to the work of Latino actors and filmmakers during the ongoing strike—along with fellow union member Lisa Vidal.

Vidal made the following observation regarding the WGA agreement: “We have all felt that it sets up a fair playing ground for us if they set the tone and get what they were fighting for.”

On Friday, members of Local 11’s striking hospitality workers, IATSE, and The Animation Guild demonstrated their cross-union solidarity by strolling the picket lines beside the performers. WGA members persisted in supporting SAG by walking the picket lines and yelling “congratulations” to authors who passed them on landing a tentative deal.

RELATED: After Months Of Strikes, The WGA And AMPTP Have Reached A Provisional Deal

Composer and WGA member Ben Flores stated, “I was really inspired to come and support them when I saw that SAG was meeting with the AMPTP on Monday because SAG is out here today showing [the studios] the same thing we showed them, which is that this tenacity and solidarity is unbreakable.”

The WGA sent its strike captains an email on Sunday night that said, “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 parameters of the new agreement include restrictions on the use of AI, minimum personnel standards, and minimum wage increases. The demands made by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA to the studio are somewhat similar, particularly in regards to residuals linked to streaming viewership and data transparency. “The total number of hours streamed, both domestically and internationally, of self-produced high-budget streaming programs” is a confidential access that the WGA obtained.

Contrary to early in the strike, there was upbeat discussion on Friday on what to expect beyond the work stoppage on the strike line. Alongside Riva and Vidal, Burbank Mayor (and SAG-AFTRA member) Konstantine Anthony and Mónica Ramírez, representing the group Justice for Migrant Women, were discussing their organization’s post-strike future. “As Latinas in the industry, we have set off something we will have to continue after the strike, not just as picketers for the cause,” Riva stated. “After the strike, there will be a fight because there is already a discrepancy in the representation of Latinos in TV and movies.”


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