Barring a vote by members signs are that the three-month-old writers strike is over. The 12,000 members of the Writers Guild of America were expected to endorse an agreement boosting their pay for online use of TV shows and movies, paving a way for a return to work on Wednesday.
But even as the writers celebrated the proposed deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the prospect loomed of a screen actors’ strike. The contract between the Screen Actors Guild and the studios will expire in the summer and the two sides are hit by the same issues that split the writers.
The writers will now be paid $1,200 (U.S.) a year in the first two years a series runs online and will get 2 per cent of any revenue earned after that.
“This is like an insurance policy for the future – that 2 per cent is pennies now, but it can amount to a lot more if the Internet becomes truly central to content delivery down the line,” said Kaan Yigit, an analyst at Solutions Research Group in Toronto, who tracks new media closely. “The strike is a timely reminder of the importance of professional creators. User-generated content is terrific but great stories that captivate millions don’t write themselves.”