Iowa native celebrates new deal after 5-month writers’ strike

Iowa native and comedy writer Romen Borsellino, right, walks the Writers Guild picket line in Los Angeles in summer 2023. (Photo taken by Brittany Woodside, courtesy of Romen Borsellino)

By Amie Rivers

October 3, 2023

After 148 days on strike, Hollywood writers—including Iowa native Romen Borsellino—reached a tentative agreement with the major studios last week.

Borsellino told Starting Line was “an incredible deal” for Writers Guild of America members.

The nearly five-month-long strike “was long and painful, but ultimately worth it,” Borsellino said. The resulting tentative agreement, which will cover union members through May 1, 2026, is being voted on now through Monday, Oct. 9, and writers were allowed to go back to work Sept. 27.

The tentative deal includes minimum wages, improved terms for writers to move up in their careers, viewership-based streaming payments, and guardrails against encroaching artificial intelligence in scriptwriting.

“We got an incredible deal that includes the vast majority of what we were asking for,” Borsellino said, noting he would be voting “yes” and expected the vote would pass easily. “I’m hopeful that this deal will continue to level the playing field by giving entry- and mid-level writers the minimums that we deserve.”

Borsellino previously told Starting Line it had been difficult financially on strike, noting he took advantage of free meals sponsored by actor Drew Carey many times. But he came away with a renewed belief in workers’ ability to take back power from their employers.

“Let’s hope that the other unions fighting for what they deserve, including auto workers and actors, get a fair deal soon,” he said. Actors with SAG-AFTRA remain on strike.

“Now comes the tough task of re-entering the workforce,” he added. “Please don’t judge me too harshly as I try to remember how to wake up before 10 a.m. on a weekday.”


Amie Rivers

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  • Amie Rivers

    Amie Rivers is Starting Line's community editor, labor reporter and newsletter snarker-in-chief. Previously, she was an award-winning journalist at the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier; now, she very much enjoys making TikToks and memes. Send all story tips and pet photos to [email protected] and sign up for our newsletter here.


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