The Campaign

Frequently Asked Questions

Every three years, the WGA negotiates with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) over the terms of the Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA), the collective bargaining agreement that covers most of the work done by WGA writers.

This FAQ provides a general overview of the negotiations process and answers questions about the 2023 WGA strike. 

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  • What have been the steps in the negotiations process so far?

    In general, the steps in the negotiations process have been as follows:

    • WGA members were surveyed to help determine bargaining priorities.
    • The WGAW Board and WGAE Council appointed the Negotiating Committee. The officers from each guild are ex-officio members of the committee.
    • The Negotiating Committee, with staff support, crafted the Pattern of Demands—general objectives for negotiations. The Pattern of Demands was approved by the Board and Council and sent to the membership for a vote.
    • The Negotiating Committee decided on a set of specific bargaining proposals and negotiating priorities.
    • The WGA held a series of membership meetings to get feedback on the bargaining agenda.
    • The Negotiating Committee began talks with the AMPTP.
    • Because it appeared an acceptable agreement might not be reached by the contract’s expiration date, the Negotiating Committee recommended to the WGAW Board and WGAE Council that the membership take a Strike Authorization Vote (SAV). The WGAW Board and WGAE Council authorized a membership vote, and a majority of members voted in favor (97.85%).
    • The WGAW Board and WGAE Council, in consultation with the Negotiating Committee, called a strike because the AMPTP did not offer an acceptable deal by May 1 when the contract expired.
  • Who is on the WGA’s Negotiating Committee?

    The 2023 MBA Negotiating Committee and chief negotiator, WGAW Assistant Executive Director Ellen Stutzman, represent the WGA in negotiations.  

    Members of the 2023 Negotiating Committee are: 

    David A. Goodman, Co-Chair
    Chris Keyser, Co-Chair
    John August
    Angelina Burnett
    Kay Cannon
    Yahlin Chang
    Robb Chavis
    Adam Conover
    Travis Donnelly
    Ashley Gable
    Hallie Haglund
    Eric Haywood
    Eric Heisserer
    Greg Iwinski
    Luvh Rakhe
    Erica Saleh
    Danielle Sanchez-Witzel
    James Schamus
    Tom Schulman
    Mike Schur
    David Shore
    David Simon
    Patric M. Verrone
    Nicole Yorkin

    Meredith Stiehm, WGAW President, Ex-Officio
    Michele Mulroney, WGAW Vice President, Ex-Officio 
    Betsy Thomas, WGAW Secretary-Treasurer, Ex-Officio, 
    Michael Winship, WGAE President, Ex-Officio 
    Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, WGAE Vice President of Film/TV/Streaming, Ex-Officio
    Christopher Kyle, WGAE Secretary-Treasurer, Ex-Officio

  • Who does the WGA negotiate with?

    The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) negotiates on behalf of all the major studios and hundreds of production companies. 

  • When did the WGA go on strike?

    The WGA called a strike that began on May 2, 2023, after the AMPTP rejected the WGA’s proposals in the core work areas of episodic series, features, and Appendix A. The MBA expired on May 1, 2023.

  • What is the WGA fighting for?

    You can read a breakdown of the WGA’s proposals and the AMPTP’s responses.

    For additional context, please read our Contract Bulletins:

  • Who is the WGA on strike against?

    The WGA is striking all companies that were signatory to the 2020 MBA.


  • Will I be held liable for breach of contract for going on strike?

    The MBA provides that both the writer’s and company’s obligations under existing employment contracts are suspended during a strike and the writer may not be held liable for breach of contract for observing a strike if the member performs their contractual obligations after a strike concludes. Please contact the WGAW Legal Department, (323) 782-4521 or the WGAE Legal Department, (212) 767-7844 if you need guidance.

  • I received a termination notice under my contract. Now what?

    If you were working under contract when the strike was announced, you might have received a suspension notice from your employer. The MBA says that as soon as a strike is called, contracts between members and struck companies are deemed suspended for the duration of the strike, so these suspension notices are usually of little legal effect.

    Some writers received notice that their employment is terminated due to “force majeure” because of the work stoppage. We urge any writer who received this notice to contact the WGAW Legal Department, (323) 782-4521 or the WGAE Legal Department, (212) 767-7844 directly with your contract and termination notice so we can review.

    The legal doctrine of force majeure is commonly included in all types of contracts. Essentially, the provision allows a party to avoid a contractual obligation because of an unforeseen event that makes performance of the contract impossible.

  • Is there a basis for force majeure termination?

    In general, California law sets a high bar for invoking force majeure and parties have to be able to show that continuing with the contract became impossible or unreasonably expensive. Courts have also generally narrowly interpreted force majeure contract language, so the particulars of your deal are important.

    The right to terminate a contract based on force majeure is not automatic; it must be based on a provision in your individual writing agreement. Some writers may have been performing services prior to the strike under informal emails or deal memos, so there is no force majeure provision for the company to invoke. Other writing contracts we’ve seen don’t include a force majeure provision, or include force majeure language that excludes labor disputes involving the party’s own union. Force majeure can’t be invoked in these instances, either.

  • Firing for an improper purpose.

    It is a labor law violation for a company to discriminate against an employee for engaging in protected activity such as participating in a strike. For example, it would be unlawful discrimination for the company to terminate a writer because of the writer’s lawful support of the strike. And while the MBA provides that a company may retain its right to terminate a writer’s contract in certain circumstances during a work stoppage, it may not do so in violation of the National Labor Relations Act.

    If you’ve been terminated from your contract and you have questions, please contact the WGAW Legal Department, (323) 782-4521 or the WGAE Legal Department (212) 767-7844. Make sure we have your contract so we can look at the force majeure language and give you advice about how to proceed.


  • How can the WGA help writers who may suffer economic hardship during the strike?

    Here is a link to resources for writers, which include:

    The Guilds have Strike Funds, which are administered by committees of members and can provide no-interest or low-interest loans (depending on the repayment plan) to members who need financial assistance because of the strike. WGAW Strike Fund loan criteria and application can be found here. WGAE Strike Fund loan criteria can be found here.

    There is also a Good and Welfare Fund that has different criteria and can also assist WGAW members in need. Good and Welfare Fund criteria can be found here. WGAE members who have Union Plus credit cards may be eligible for strike grants or premium deferrals if covered by Union Plus Auto, Life or Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance.

    The Entertainment Community Fund’s Emergency Assistance Program also provides temporary financial assistance to entertainment industry workers with documented financial need.


  • I’m on an O-1 Visa. Is my immigration status impacted by participating in the strike?

    No. A writer’s immigration status will normally not be affected in the event of a strike, provided that the writer complies with all the normal O-1 visa rules. Contact the WGAW Legal Department (323) 782-4521 or the WGAE Legal Department (212) 767-7844 if you’d like to discuss your particular situation.


  • Are residuals payments suspended during the strike?

    No, the Companies must continue to pay residuals that are owed. The WGA will continue to enforce residual obligations.