The Writers Guild of America has now called for a strike by its members starting today.
The decision was made following six weeks of negotiations with Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Discovery-Warner, NBC Universal, Paramount and Sony under the umbrella of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
The WGA Negotiating Committee says the studios’ responses “have been wholly insufficient given the existential crisis writers are facing.”
The WGA says the companies have “created a gig economy inside a union workforce, and their immovable stance in this negotiation has betrayed a commitment to further devaluing the profession of writing. From their refusal to guarantee any level of weekly employment in episodic television, to the creation of a “day rate” in comedy variety, to their stonewalling on free work for screenwriters and on AI for all writers, they have closed the door on their labour force and opened the door to writing as an entirely freelance profession. No such deal could ever be contemplated by this membership.”
Picketing is now to begin.
The AMPTP said in a statement on Monday that it “presented a comprehensive package proposal to the Guild last night which included generous increases in compensation for writers as well as improvements in streaming residuals. The AMPTP also indicated to the WGA that it is prepared to improve that offer, but was unwilling to do so because of the magnitude of other proposals still on the table that the Guild continues to insist upon. The primary sticking points are ‘mandatory staffing,’ and ‘duration of employment’ — Guild proposals that would require a company to staff a show with a certain number of writers for a specified period of time, whether needed or not.”
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