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Film industry in Mississippi ready to move forward as writers strike ends

Photo courtesy of Writers Guild of America/Facebook

The second-longest writers’ strike in Hollywood history is set to end on Monday, October 2 with the signing of an agreement that would grant writers improved pay and benefits.

Officials with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) ended the strike on Wednesday morning after an agreement was reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), an organization that represents some of the largest studios and production companies in Hollywood.

The contract, or memorandum of agreement (MOA), is set to include stipulations that would raise writers’ compensation, minimum pay, health fund rates, and pension, as well as improve the duration of employment and size of writing teams.

Other notable sections in the MOA focus on increasing residuals for writers and prohibiting the use of AI software to replace or reduce the number of writers.

Nina Parikh, director of the Mississippi Film Office, explained that writers have been concerned about the growing threat of software taking their jobs.

“There has to be something there to protect the writers, but there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed,” Parikh explained on The Gallo Show. “We’re at a time when that could actually be a reality.”

Film projects across the board have experienced massive delays since the start of the strike, with the majority of expected movie and television releases being pushed back one to two years.

Parikh added that the delays have been seen in Mississippi’s film industry due to the 148-day strike, causing some projects to be put on an indefinite hold for the time being.

“We’ve had a lot of interest of people wanting to film in the state, but almost all of those projects that want to be here have been on hold because they can’t move forward without their contracts,” Parikh said. “We’re certainly feeling it, and everywhere in the state and my colleagues across the country are feeling it.”

At this time, the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is still on strike but is expected to begin separate negotiations with AMPTP on Monday.

“Everybody’s got their fingers crossed that they’re moving in the right direction and this will be wrapped up sooner rather than later,” Parikh added.

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