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Saturday, May 25, 2024

WGA Responds to Studios’ Newest Proposal: ‘Not Practically Sufficient’


The Writers Guild of America has responded to current proposals from studios. The group famous that progress had been made, however gives obtained haven’t been adequate.

The WGA says progress has been made, however it’s going to proceed preventing

In an e mail to its members, the WGA commented on its current spherical of discussions with studios and addressed a wide range of factors they coated. Particularly, the WGA mentioned that studios are prepared to solidify a set TV workers measurement in its contract.

“However the loopholes, limitations, and omissions of their modest proposal, too quite a few to single out, make them successfully toothless,” the guild said (through Selection).

When it got here to the struggle over higher residuals over movies and TV collection on streaming companies, the WGA mentioned that the AMPTP (the Alliance of Movement Image and Tv Producers) supplied to offer streaming viewership knowledge to a handful of WGA staffers. This might then be used to assist craft a proposal for viewership-based residuals.

Earlier this week, the AMPTP launched its proposals following a gathering between varied studios and WGA management. The transfer was swiftly criticized by the WGA, who claimed that the AMPTP had mentioned it will be doing so to talk on to the WGA’s membership.

The union known as the transfer “a tactic in the course of an ongoing negotiation,” and mentioned it wouldn’t be negotiating through press releases.

Talking to Selection, an nameless author claims that gained’t be the case.

“They suppose the Neg Comm is the issue. They suppose there’s this alternate WGA that they should attain,” mentioned one author, who requested anonymity to talk candidly. “That’s not true. Your entire membership are just about united. We’re prepared to attend it out till we get an excellent deal.”

Whereas the WGA’s e mail did word that “progress had been made,” it appears as if the 2 sides are nonetheless too far aside to come back to a deal as of now. The strike, which started on Could 2, 2023, has now been occurring for extra 115 days, making it the third-longest strike in WGA historical past in line with WGA Board Member David Slack.

The total WGA memo despatched out to members on August 24, 2023, might be seen beneath:

Through the assembly with the CEOs we spent two hours explaining that, although progress had been made, the language of the AMPTP’s supply was, as is typical of that physique, a model of giving with one hand and taking again with the opposite.

We repeated what now we have mentioned since day one, that our calls for come instantly from the membership itself. They tackle the existential threats to the occupation of writing and to our particular person careers, all attributable to modifications to the enterprise mannequin carried out by the businesses within the final seven to 10 years. We pressured that we couldn’t and wouldn’t choose and select amongst these threats; that now we have not struck for almost 4 months to half-save ourselves, nor are we leaving any sector of this Guild unprotected once we return to work. We’re prepared to barter inside these areas, however each existential concern have to be met with a real resolution.

On the finish of the assembly, the businesses informed us they meant to go on to our membership by releasing info on their August eleventh proposal to the media “throughout the subsequent 24 hours.” They launched a six-page doc 20 minutes after the assembly concluded.

This needs to be seen as what it’s, merely a tactic in the course of an ongoing negotiation.  

We aren’t going to barter by press launch, so gained’t undergo the AMPTP’s characterization of its August eleventh proposal intimately, however listed here are some broad strokes that will already be obvious:  

Lots of the present deal factors they’ve put ahead – minimums, SVOD residuals, AVOD phrases – are from a deal negotiated with the DGA greater than 80 days in the past. 

Member energy – the strike – pressured the businesses to barter on extra points than they have been prepared to as of Could 1, however nonetheless within the typical AMPTP mode of seeming to present whereas limiting the precise positive factors. Listed below are a number of examples of areas they’ve made proposals that aren’t but adequate:

  • In display screen, they’ve proposed a second step however just for a statistically tiny class of screenwriters, excluding all however the first writers of authentic screenplays. They dismissed the idea of weekly pay.
  • They’ve ceded chosen – however inadequate – minimal phrases for some-but not all-Appendix A writers in SVOD. For instance, whereas comedy-variety is roofed, sport present writers, daytime writers, and all different Appendix A writers aren’t coated.
  • In tv, the businesses have launched the notion of an MBA assure of minimal workers measurement and period. However the loopholes, limitations, and omissions of their modest proposal, too quite a few to single out, make them successfully toothless.
  • Groups of two writers would obtain P&H contributions as people. However not groups of three or extra.
  • We’ve had actual discussions and seen motion on their half concerning AI protections. However we’re not but the place we should be. As one instance, they proceed to refuse to control the usage of our work to coach AI to jot down new content material for a movement image.
  • Lastly, the businesses say they’ve made a significant concession by providing to permit six WGA workers to review restricted streaming viewership knowledge for the subsequent three years, so we will return in 2026 to ask as soon as once more for a viewership-based residual. Within the meantime, no author might be informed by the WGA about how properly their mission is doing, a lot much less obtain a residual based mostly on that knowledge.  

The businesses’ counteroffer is neither nothing, nor almost sufficient. We’ll proceed to advocate for proposals that absolutely tackle our points moderately than settle for half measures like these talked about above and different proposals not listed right here.

One final reminder illustrates why the AMPTP’s present stance doesn’t make sense. As now we have repeated from the primary day of our first member assembly – and on day by day of this strike – our calls for are truthful and affordable, and the businesses can afford them.  Right here is the associated fee to every firm of our present asks on the desk, together with the addition of elevated well being funding to deal with the impression of the strike.

Weigh this towards the price of not making a deal: the associated fee to 11,500 writers; to actors, crews and drivers; to anybody who works in and across the enterprise however will not be on strike; to the economies of California and New York and in every single place movie and tv is made; to customers, pension plans and different shareholders; and to the businesses themselves. It is not sensible. And everyone however the AMPTP is aware of it. 

Within the final 36 hours the response from the membership is that you’re undeterred by this newest tactic. Regardless of the AMPTP’s try at a detour round us, we stay dedicated to direct negotiations with the businesses. That’s really how a deal will get made and the strike ends. That will probably be good for the remainder of the trade and the businesses as properly. 

Till then, we are going to see you on the picket traces. 



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