There’s a cause for celebration in the entertainment industry as the Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced the four words that Hollywood has been waiting to hear since the writer’s strike began on November 5: "The strike is over".
After a bitter 14 week stand-off, the WGA has agreed to end the strike against the studios and return to work, in full, on Wednesday (February 13) after its members voted unanimously to accept the offer from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), during ballots that were held in Los Angeles and New York on Tuesday.
WGA West President Patric Verrone made the announcement in Beverly Hills, saying, "The strike is over. Our members have voted, and writer’s can go back to work."
In a statement to members, Verrone said:
On Tuesday, members of the Writers Guilds East and West voted by a 92.5% margin to lift the restraining order that was invoked on November 5th. The strike is over. Writing can resume immediately. If you were employed when the strike began, you should plan to report to work on Wednesday. Read the full statement here.
Union leaders had agreed to the new contracts, which were re-negotiated after 10,500 writers walked off the job over pay disputes, which primarily centered around compensation for new media and web-related content.
A joint statement by the eight major studios released after the WGA announcement said, "This is a day of relief and optimism for everyone in the entertainment industry."
According to a report from the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp, the strike has cost the industry more than $2 billion in lost wages in Los Angeles alone, when considering all ancillary businesses such as limousine services, florists, restaurants, and other related businesses.
It is believed that TV studios will immediately attempt to pick up where they left off on November 5, and will begin shooting the seasons of many of its top-rating shows that have been shut down since the strike began.
Photo courtesy of WGA.