The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers released a statement Tuesday night touting a “comprehensive package” that addresses the “top priorities” of the Writers Guild of America.
“The offer recognizes the fundamental role authors play in the industry and underscores the companies’ commitment to ending the strike,” said the AMPTP, which is negotiating on behalf of major studios and streamers.
The fact that the coalition went public with its proposals, first put forward on August 11, suggests that negotiations between the parties have yet to yield any significant breakthroughs that would end the months-long strike. Last month, actors joined the writers in picketing, effectively halting all production of scripts.
Film and TV writers have been on strike since early May; Earlier this month, the WGA and AMPTP resumed negotiations. Both sides have generally avoided commenting publicly on the status of the talks.
On Friday, the WGA’s negotiation committee informed its members that “the AMPTP has provided responses to our suggestions in all areas of work,” but advised members to “be skeptical of third-party rumors, knowing the guild will communicate.” when we believe there is something of importance to report.”
Tuesday’s AMPTP statement followed a meeting earlier in the day between WGA executives and several top executives, including Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, and Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger Co., and Donna Langley, chairwoman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, according to a person familiar with the meeting, who was not authorized to comment.
In its statement, the AMPTP said it was offering the WGA its biggest pay rise in 35 years, with pay increases of 5% in the first year of the proposed contract, followed by increases of 4% and 3.5% in subsequent years.
The WGA had targeted a 6% increase in the minimum and balance amounts in the first year, followed by a 5% increase in the second and third years.
A key sticking point in the negotiations was the WGA’s requirement to impose a minimum staffing requirement in writers’ rooms, which have shrunk in size during the streaming era.
To address the issue, the AMPTP said it would allow the showrunner of high-budget streaming and pay-TV series to hire at least two mid-market writers for at least a 20-week stint on the production. In addition, it was suggested that authors should be guaranteed at least ten weeks’ employment in development rooms.
Screenwriters have expressed concern that the rapid acceleration of streaming has shortened television seasons, making it harder for writers to make a living.
The studios said they had offered a new compensation structure for development rooms, as well as “truthful protections” for authors surrounding the use of generative artificial intelligence, including guarantees that written material produced by GAI would not be considered literary material.
The AMPTP said its offer would increase residual amounts for high-budget streaming shows (from $72,067 to $87,546 per episode for three years of exhibition).
And to provide more transparency into how well shows are doing – another important concern for the authors – the WGA would receive quarterly reports that would include viewing hours per title.
“Our priority is to end the strike so that valued members of the creative community can get back to what they do best and end the hardships that so many people and businesses serving the industry are suffering,” Carol said Lombardini, President of the AMPTP.
The WGA did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but some WGA members expressed irritation that the AMPTP had gone public with its offer.
“Wait for the WGA responses that contextualize what the current AMPTP offerings offer and then what takes away.” David Simon, member of the negotiation committee, wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter).
“We don’t lick as a tactic; They do it when we read the fine print and refuse to immediately act on their suggestions.”
On Tuesday, more than 3,000 union members attended a rally outside the Walt Disney Co. Burbank office to express solidarity with the striking film and television actors and writers.