Hollywood producers take heated negotiations with writers union public, revealing latest offer

Members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild walk the picket line outside of Netflix in Hollywood, California, on August 9, 2023.
Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images

Hollywood producers are taking their latest contract proposal public as talks between the studios and writers union remain heated.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers overnight publicly revealed the latest proposal, which they delivered to the writers on Aug. 11. The offer addresses residuals and compensation, artificial intelligence, and increased transparency regarding the streaming business — the top issues for the writers.

Writers Guild of America union members have been striking for more than 100 days — with the actors’ union also going on strike in July — halting Hollywood’s production of TV shows and movies during a moment when media companies are trying to make their streaming strategies profitable and pushing consumers back into theaters.

The latest proposal from the studios came days after producers asked the writers for a meeting and includes the highest wage increase proposed for the WGA in 35 years, according to the AMPTP — “a compounded 13% increase over the three-year contract, with an increase of 5% in year one; 4% in year two; and 3.5% in year three.”

The proposal also raises residuals, provides for a new compensation structure, protections regarding the use of AI, “data transparency” regarding streaming viewership data and to train writers to become showrunners.

“Our priority is to end the strike so that valued members of the creative community can return to what they do best and to end the hardships that so many people and businesses that service the industry are experiencing,” said AMPTP President Carol Lombardini in a statement. “We have come to the table with an offer that meets the priority concerns the writers have expressed. We are deeply committed to ending the strike and are hopeful that the WGA will work toward the same resolution.”

Still, the negotiations appear far from over: Soon after the proposal was made public, the writers union released its latest update and said the parties have engaged in further discussions since the Aug. 11 offer.

The discussions included a sit-down with top media honchos including Disney CEO Bob Iger, NBCUniversal film head Donna Langley, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos and Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav.

The writers said that rather than good faith talks, they were “met with a lecture about how good their single and only counteroffer was.” The union said the studios’ latest offer still includes “limitations and loopholes and omissions” that fail to protect Hollywood writers.

“This wasn’t a meeting to make a deal. This was a meeting to get us to cave, which is why, not 20 minutes after we left the meeting, the AMPTP released its summary of their proposals,” the writers said in a statement.

Representatives for the AMPTP didn’t immediately respond to comment on Wednesday.

Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC. NBCUniversal is a member of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

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