Sesame Workshop Writers Reach Tentative 5-Year Agreement

Once ratified, the writers will win protections against artificial intelligence and improvements to new media residuals

Sesame Street
Sesame Street

Members of the Writers Guild of America at Sesame Workshop and management avoided a strike after reaching a tentative agreement on a new five-year collective bargaining agreement, the guild announced on Friday.

According to their press release, the writers, who include members of WGA East and WGA West, won 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 35 members of the bargaining unit will vote to ratify the agreement in the next few days.

“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 Sesame Workshop Negotiating Committee said in a statement.

WGAE president Lisa Takeuchi Cullen said, “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.”

The writers voted on Tuesday to order a strike if their Friday deadline was not reached.

“We are committed to working with Sesame Workshop to codify a fair contract for writers that embodies these values and which allows the Workshop to continue to attract top-level talent who can artfully create stories that successfully balance entertainment, playfulness and joy with education and enrichment,” Tuesday’s initial statement read.

Sesame Workshop series include “Sesame Street,” “Bea’s Block, “Esme & Roy,” “Ghostwriter,” “Helpsters, “Mecha Builders” and “The Not-Too-Late Show With Elmo.”

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