President Biden cheered on a tentative deal reached between striking Hollywood writers and big studios that was first reported on Sunday night.
“I applaud the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers for reaching a tentative agreement that will allow writers to return to the important work of telling the stories of our nation, our world – and of all of us,” Biden said in a statement released Monday morning.
Writers with the WGA had been striking over access to profits in the form of royalties and residuals for products distributed over online and streaming platforms.
Their demands also included limiting the use of algorithms in the writing process of television programs and moves, and guaranteeing that certain numbers of writers be involved.
Biden noted that the agreement, which has yet to be finalized by lawyers after a 146-day strike, contained provisions on the use of algorithms, commonly referred to as “artificial intelligence.”
“This agreement, including assurances related to artificial intelligence, did not come easily. But its formation is a testament to the power of collective bargaining,” Biden said.
Biden has been vocally supportive of unions amid a series of strikes as he leans into an image of being the most-union friendly president in U.S. history. The president is scheduled to join picket lines this week in Detroit for a strike by the United Auto Works, a near unprecedented action by a sitting president.
“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,” he said in the Monday statement.
Hollywood has been hit with a strike by writers and actors, the latter of which is continuing.
The details of the deal reached between the writers and the studios are still under wraps and need to be formally hashed out. But writers reportedly sound encouraged by the contours of the agreement.
“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 WGA’s negotiating committee said in a communiqué to strike captains, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
“What remains now is for our staff to make sure everything we have agreed to is codified in final contract language. And though we are eager to share the details of what has been achieved with you, we cannot do that until the last ‘i’ is dotted,” they said.
The language of the deal will be voted on by the negotiating committee, and then in referendums by the boards of both the East and West Coast chapters of the union, which are tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, The Hollywood Reporter reported.
Once ratified, the unions will then vote on whether to end the strike.
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