Hollywood vs. AI: How the WGA took on artificial intelligence and won

After nearly five months, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike that saw writers' rooms across film and television shuttered is now over. Yahoo Entertainment's Kevin Polowy explains what the new deal between studios and writers entails and why addressing the WGA's concerns over the use of artificial intelligence was essential to getting the industry back to work.

Video Transcript

KEVIN POLOWY: The WGA strike is officially over. Yes, the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers, they reached an agreement, which ends a long grueling 148-day strike. The new deal includes gains in minimum staffing requirements and TV writers rooms that didn't previously exist, residuals, compensation, obviously. Writers will now also be better rewarded when their shows take off on streaming, as they would on network television. But the biggest wins here are going to come in the fields of artificial intelligence.

AI can no longer write literary material, which is especially important in this situation because that means that AI can't be used to undermine a writer's credit. And yes, the new deal is only good for three years, but that doesn't necessarily mean we should expect another WGA strike in three years. Obviously, things can change and there could be new issues on the table in 2026, but the general feeling seems to be that the WGA needed to get ahead of the AI debate specifically while it was still in its sort of nascent phase.

AI is very, very quickly becoming an issue. And they needed to resolve that sooner than later. A lot of people questioned like, we're just back from COVID, why can't they wait or let the industry repair from all the damage done, all the movie theaters shutting down? It was really important for them to get ahead of the AI debate before it just spiraled into them having absolutely no control over it.