A clearer picture of how far the writer and studio were from striking a deal has emerged after talks between the two wga And AMPTP Broke, due to which the strike started from Tuesday.
The WGA stated that its proposals would have benefited its members by $429M per year and claimed that the AMPTP proposal was approximately $86M per year, a 48% minimum increase. AMPTP countered that these numbers are hypothetical as it is unclear how many shows will be ordered over three years and how many subscribers the streamers will have. He also made it clear to the WGA that those were proposals that he was willing to make improvements.
Many of the biggest issues were in TV such as getting more writers on set and what studios are referring to as “mandatory staffing”; and what the WGA is calling “preserving the writers’ room”.
Connected: Deadline’s Full Strike Coverage
The on-set experience has been a key point of the WGA’s drive to help its members. The Guild proposed that writers on staff should receive at least three weeks per episode, up to a maximum of 52 weeks, in what they called “post-greenlight room”. They wanted a minimum of half of the staff to be employed through production and one writer to be employed through post.
However, AMPTP rejected this with studio sources saying it was difficult as it could go on for months, especially on streamers, where they often do not greenlight a show until all scripts have been written. are not written
The WGA was also looking to secure several employees – six writers including four writer/producers – as part of the “Pre-Greenlight Room”, otherwise known as the Mini-Room – and the “Post-Greenlight Room”. “Where one writer per episode for six episodes above, then an additional writer is needed for every two episodes after six. For example, an eight episode show would require seven writers including four writers/producers and a ten episode show would require eight writers including five writers/producers.
Studio dismisses it again, pointing to shows like HBO White lotusWhich was written entirely by Mike White.
Once it became clear that the studio and writers were far apart on these issues, all parties parted ways before 8 p.m. PT.
Elsewhere, on residuals, the Guild was asking for a 6%-5%-5% increase over the course of a new three-year contract for all minimums, including residual bases. But according to Guild, AMPTP only offered 4%-3%-2% (a one-time increase in most residual basis of 2% or 2.5%).
The authors were looking to establish a viewership-based residual, in addition to the existing fixed residual, which was said to reward programs for greater viewership, although would require transparency on its numbers.
Finally, on AI, the WGA wanted to regulate its use on MBA-covered projects, but wanted the studios to start holding annual meetings “to discuss advances in the technology”.
What did the writers and the studio agree on?
There have been some tentative agreements in the last six weeks. These included script fees for staff writers on top of their weekly wages; increasing the span cap from $400,000 to $450,000, extending span protection to writers of limited series, increasing the earnings cap on options from $325,000 to $350,000, 150% pilot premium for high-end streaming series, and 115% backup scripts; The WGA has the option of removing the negotiated minimum increase of 0.5% to its pension or health funds and is allowed to run an additional free “promotion” for the new made to broadcast series.
Streamers also appeared to pay a lower license-fee-based residual, with Paramount+ and Max giving up residuals based on the number of overseas subscribers.
Looks like some leeway has been given to comedy/variety shows for streaming that fall under MBA
It seems that this was not enough.