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Striking Writers Bargaining Directly With Hollywood CEOs = Cautious Optimism For Deal

Striking Hollywood writers are bargaining directly with Hollywood CEOs who have the power to make a deal — Disney’s Bob Iger, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav and NBC Universal’s Donna Langley.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) returned to the bargaining table on Wednesday and issued their first ever joint press release that talks were resuming 142 days into the Writers’ Strike and four weeks since the first meeting with the CEOs went terribly wrong.

Related: No End in Sight for Hollywood Writers & Actors Double Strike

Today is the third day of bargaining with the Gang of Four CEOs and Hollywood is feeling a cautious optimism that the end of the long WGA strike is in sight.

Update: Talks to continue on the weekend, but not with CEOs in attendance.

The WGA has been on strike since May 2nd and SAG-AFTRA since July 14th.

At Issue:

Writers say the big push into streaming services has turned full-time careers into a “gig economy”. Writers could work on a 20+ episodes show for almost a year in the golden era of network television. Now episode orders are half that or less. And there is no upside if the show is a streaming success because streamers won’t share data about viewership and streamer residuals are fixed not viewership-based. Put that all together and writers are earning less despite the boom in content.

Streaming residuals:

The WGA wants an increased fixed residual and the establishment of a viewership-based residual to reward success.

Counter offer: Success-based residuals to be calculated in part by whether a show is watched by a pre-determined percentage of the subscriber base, according to Variety.

Minimum Staffing Requirements:

The WGA wants shows over a certain number of episodes to have a minimum number of writers Instead of mini-rooms, where two or three writers are hired at union minimum wage to map out whole seasons before production starts. The guild wants to restore writers’ rooms where seven or more writers work for the whole season and get on-set producing experience in order to train the next generation of showrunners.


Generative Artificial Intelligence Software:

The WGA wants to prevent the studios and streamers from using their work to train generative AI software which could replace them.


Matt Belloni from Puck News reported last night that minimum staffing requirements remains a contentious issue.

Deadline: Hollywood reports that generative A.I. is a sticking point, too.

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