D is for Deal: Sesame Street Writers Reach Agreement, Avoiding Strike

Published: April 19, 2024
Categories: News

It’s sunny days in the writers room, as we’re happy to report that writers for Sesame Workshop have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, avoiding a strike. Voting to ratify the deal will be held in the coming days.

Their previous deal was set to expire on Friday, with plans to form picket lines as early as Wednesday, April 25th. The 35 writers, represented by the Writers Guild of America East, voted unanimously to strike earlier in the week.

The WGA negotiating committee said in a statement, “We are so proud to work for an organization that values its writers, and we believe this new contract will positively impact writers throughout the children’s media landscape. ‘S’ truly is for Solidarity. We are glad to have a contract in place that allows Sesame to do what it does best – lead.”

The guild secured historic jurisdiction and minimum rates for animation and new media programs produced by Sesame, protections against artificial intelligence, paid parental leave benefits, and substantial improvements to new media residuals. The animation and new media improvements are extremely important, as Sesame Street is set to undergo a major format change beginning with season 56, incorporating the animated “Tales from 1-2-3” segment in every episode.

Sesame Workshop also celebrated the agreement, as they explained to Variety: “We value our writers and their significant contributions to the creative process, which are integral to our ability to deliver on our nonprofit mission. This agreement is a testament to our dedication to our creative talent, and we appreciate the WGA’s collaboration in working with us to establish this new industry benchmark.”

WGAE President Lisa Takeuchi Cullen added, “Sesame Workshop writers won a new agreement that recognizes the value of the incredible work they do to educate and enlighten children around the world. This contract could not have been achieved without the solidarity and fortitude shown by the entire bargaining unit throughout the negotiations. Workers win when they stand together.”

Sesame Street still faces a somewhat uncertain future, as their distribution deal with Warner Brothers Discovery and Max is set to expire this fall, with no extension announced as of the writing of this article. But at the very least, there will be writers, protected under a fair deal, to help bring the show into this new era.

Click here to pack up the picket signs on the ToughPigs Discord!

by Matthew Soberman – Matthew@ToughPigs.com

You May Also Like…

Written by Matthew Soberman

Read More by Matthew Soberman

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This