Hollywood writers expressed joy, exhaustion and gratitude Sunday night after the Writers Guild of America and major studios finally reached a tentative agreement that would end a months-long strike.
The writers of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Gotham,” “Chicago Fire,” “Abbott Elementary” and other titles were quick to celebrate on social media. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and California Gov. Gavin Newsom weighed in, and at least one rabbi interrupted her service to deliver the latest news about a strike that has had a devastating impact on the regional economy.
But perhaps the biggest sigh of relief Sunday night came from the writers themselves.
“No, I’m really crying right now,” Alex Zaragoza from Freevee’s “Primo” Posted on X. “This strike was so hard. Necessary and invigorating and really fucking hard. But we did it! We fought together. We didn’t do anything together.”
She later added, alluding to her guild’s negotiating committee: “Many thanks to our Negcom team. Unions forever. WGA forever.”
Sal Calleros — a writer, executive producer and WGA strike captain known for FX’s “Snowfall” and ABC’s “The Good Doctor” — told The Times he hopes the tentative deal between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers will improve the lives of the next generation of writers.
“This was about the people I serve,” Calleros said Sunday.
“This was for the people who are behind me – so that they have the opportunity to earn a living. … So if we can get a good agreement on these big areas like residuals, AI and the number of writers in the room … then the people behind us will have a chance to make a real career out of this.”
Calleros also gave a salute to all allies who brought food to the picket lines, honking their cars and amplifying the WGA’s message.
“All of this just spurred us on,” Calleros said. “Honestly, I was there for the last shot and the energy we experienced this time was not there then. That was a whole different ball game. And I think it will be a completely different game in the future too.”
Caroline Renard from Disney’s “Secrets of Sulfur Springs” Posted that she felt like she had just gotten out of a war. “I’ve been keeping it up for my team since Mother January. We organized ourselves in case of a strike long before May and now here we are b-!”
James Alexander of Disney Channel’s “Hailey’s On It!” Posted: “If you were picketing. If you have donated. If you retweeted/reposted votes, messages and links. If you have dropped off water, food and supplies. When you drove by and honked. When you contact us to inquire. If you are a worker who has since gone on strike. If you supported. This is your victory too.”
In a statement Sunday, Bass said she was “hopeful” that the AMPTP and artists’ union SAG-AFTRA could also come to an agreement given the tentative agreement between the studios and the WGA. The Hollywood actors’ strike continues.
“This historic strike has impacted so many people across Los Angeles and across the country,” Bass said.
“Now we must focus on getting the entertainment industry and all the small businesses that depend on it back on their feet and stronger than ever.”
Governor Newsom focused his remarks solely on the WGA strike, stating that “California’s entertainment industry would not be what it is today without our world-class writers.”
“For more than 100 days, 11,000 writers went on strike over existential threats to their careers and livelihoods – expressing real concern about the stress and anxiety workers are feeling,” Newsom said.
“I am grateful that the two sides came together to reach an agreement that benefits everyone involved and can get much of California’s economy moving again.”
The WGA released an official statement to its members calling the tentative agreement “extraordinary” and noting the “significant profits and protections” it intends to secure for authors.
“What we have gained in this treaty … is due to the willingness of these members to exercise their power, demonstrate their solidarity, walk side by side and endure the pain and uncertainty of the last 146 days,” the memo reads.
“It is the leverage created by your strike, coupled with the extraordinary support of our union brothers and sisters, that ultimately brought the companies back to the bargaining table to reach an agreement.”
The strike has not officially ended and WGA members have not yet been allowed to return to work, but the WGA bargaining committee confirmed that picketing has been suspended.
“Instead, we encourage you to do so if you are able Join the SAG-AFTRA picket line this week,” the committee said.
Meanwhile, a rabbi broke the news to worshipers at a Fairfax District Kol Nidre service on the eve of Yom Kippur.
“As we’ve been talking, it appears that a tentative agreement has been reached and the writers’ strike appears to be coming to an end,” the rabbi told her congregation, providing an unexpectedly joyful moment in the otherwise somber negotiation.
Hundreds of white-clad community members – many of whom work in film and television – burst into applause as she spoke.
Celebrations of all kinds began to break out across the city. Shortly before 9:30 p.m., shouts of “WGA!” rang out. WGA!” erupted from the crowded patio of the Idle Hour bar in North Hollywood, where hundreds of writers flocked.
Many wore blue WGA jerseys with the union logo and raised fists and drinks in the air, cheered and hugged each other and took group photos to commemorate the evening.
Writer-producer Mark Rozeman, an NBCUniversal strike captain whose credits include “The Good Doctor,” was among the first to arrive at Idle Hour as news of the festivities quickly spread throughout the city. As he looked around, grinning, he described the feeling: “Euphoric.”
Rozeman was driving when he received an email alerting dispatchers that the announcement was imminent. “I pulled over to the side of the road to read it and make sure it was correct. … It was like a weight had been lifted from me.”
As Rozeman spoke, someone in the bar crowd shouted, “We won! We won!” and was quickly met with cheers and cheers.
“It’s been a long time coming and we knew it was coming eventually,” Rozeman said, “but seeing it in writing feels very surreal and we’re all just incredibly happy.”
Times staff writers Jen Yamato, Wendy Lee, Meg James, Julia Wick, Jonah Valdez, Jevon Phillips, Dakota Smith and Carlos De Loera contributed to this report.