Home Entertainment ‘Sesame Street’ Writers Set New Contract, Avert Strike

‘Sesame Street’ Writers Set New Contract, Avert Strike

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Writers at Sesame Workshop reached a five-year agreement with the production company behind “Sesame Street,” averting the possibility of picket lines popping up in the show’s friendly neighborhood.

The Writers Guild of America confirmed the deal late Friday. The group of 35 writers employed by the nonprofit organization voted unanimously to support a strike authorization vote last week.

“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 WGA‘s Sesame Workshop Negotiating Committee said in a statement.

The union sought to ensure that writing for the show’s animated segments and social media content would be covered by minimum rates. According to the guild, the deal includes those provisions. The deal also includes paid parental leave benefits, artificial intelligence provisions, and an improved residual in streaming.

The contract was set to expire on Friday, and writers were set to begin picketing next week if an agreement had not been reached.

Sesame Workshop lauded what it described as an “industry benchmark” of a deal.

“We value our writers and their significant contributions to the creative process, which are integral to our ability to deliver on our nonprofit mission,” a Sesame Workshop spokeswoman said. “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.”

Sesame Workshop is based in New York but scribes for the company are represented by both WGA West and WGA East. “Sesame Street” airs on the streamer Max as well as PBS.

“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,” said WGA East president Lisa Takeuchi Cullen.