Discover more from Strikegeist
Point-by-Point: Where the WGA and AMPTP Got Stuck
Studios say it came down to how many TV writers should be in the room and for how long
The WGA has released its list of proposals on the negotiating table, and it reflects the massive disparities between what Hollywood’s writers and the major TV and film studios are willing to agree upon.
The “primary sticking points,” according to a statement from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on Tuesday night, concerned TV staffing minimums and duration of employment. The group representing studios including Disney, Netflix and WBD said it had offered “generous increases in compensation for writers as well as improvements in streaming residuals,” and had room to improve that offer were it not for “the magnitude of other proposals still on the table that the Guild continues to insist upon,” highlighting staffing and duration proposals in particular.
On those points, the Guild is proposing a minimum staff of six writers, including four writer-producers, in each pre-greenlit room and six to 12 writers in post-greenlit rooms; it is also looking to secure its writers a minimum of 10 consecutive weeks of work in pre-greenlit rooms and at least three weeks per episode in post-greenlit rooms.
The asks are reflective of an era in which streaming entertainment has disrupted the historical broadcast model, shortening series from 22 to 24 episodes per season to six to 10 episodes, and causing the proliferation of mini-rooms that hire fewer writers but often span longer amounts of time.
The AMPTP rejected both proposals with no counter offers.
On areas where the two groups found tentative agreement, according to the WGA: for TV staff writers to receive script fees in addition to weekly fees; increase span cap to $450,000 from $400,000 and expand span protection to cover limited-series writers; increase the options and exclusivity earnings cap to $350,000 from $325,000; a 150 percent pilot premium and 115 percent backup script premium on high-budget streaming projects; the option for the Guild to divert half a percent of negotiated minimums increases to its pension or health fund, and one additional free “promotional” run for new broadcast series.
The Guild has calculated that its proposals, which also cover artificial intelligence, streaming residuals and new minimums, would bring writers about $429 million more in compensation annually, while the AMPTP’s offer would be worth $86 million in annual gains.