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Breaking news, press releases and statements from the Writers Guild of America, East

Tuesday April 16, 2024

Sesame Workshop Writers Authorize Strike

New York, NY (April 16, 2024) – Members of the Writers Guild of America East (WGAE) and Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) at Sesame Workshop voted unanimously, with 100% participation, to authorize a strike if management does not agree to a fair new collective bargaining agreement before their current contract expires on April 19, 2024.

The 35-member bargaining unit began negotiations on February 13, but have so far been unable to reach a deal. The writers are demanding industry standard annual raises, improvements to residuals, and union coverage for Sesame Workshop’s popular animation and social media segments. 

If management fails to reach a deal with their unionized writers, picketing would begin on Wednesday, April 24, outside Sesame Workshop’s offices in New York City. 

The WGA Sesame Workshop Negotiating Committee said, “The writers that Sesame Workshop hires are deeply committed to the work that we do. Like the Workshop itself, we are mission-driven and child-focused, and we work hard at telling stories that contribute to the Workshop’s curricula inspired by heart, curiosity, community, kindness, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“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. Our demands would be extremely meaningful for the affected writers, particularly those in animation who are currently being excluded from basic union benefits and protections like pension and healthcare. We hope for a speedy and amicable resolution to these negotiations so that we can continue to do the work of helping the next generation grow smarter, stronger and kinder.”

“No one wants to see a picket line on Sesame Street,” said WGAE President Lisa Takeuchi Cullen. “Millions of  parents and families around the world are going to have a lot of questions. They might ask why the bosses at Sesame Workshop are ignoring their company’s own messages of kindness and fairness.”

The Writers Guild of America East (WGAE) and the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) are labor unions of writers working in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media and broadcast news. The Guilds negotiate and administer contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of their members; conduct programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and present writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America East, visit For more information on the Writers Guild of America West, visit


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