Hollywood producers are trying to turn up the pressure on striking writers — but writers aren’t biting. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) publicly released its counteroffer to the Writers Guild of America (WGA) on Tuesday, which details proposals surrounding AI, residuals, streaming data transparency, and more.
This is the same counteroffer that the Hollywood studios first presented to writers on August 11th, with the AMPTP claiming it “addresses all of the issues the Guild has identified as its highest priorities.” As outlined in the document, the AMPTP proposes higher wages and streaming residuals, along with a requirement of at least two employees in the writers’ room and a guaranteed minimum of 10 weeks of employment.
The AMPTP’s proposal also touches on the use of AI, stating that writers wouldn’t receive less compensation for rewriting work produced by AI or for developing a script based on an AI-generated story. Additionally, the AMPTP offers “increased data transparency” for content shown on streaming services, which includes providing total view hours per title “in the form of quarterly confidential reports.” Writers have struggled with this lack of transparency for years, leaving them unable to determine how many people are watching the shows they create.
However, the WGA writes in a post the AMPTP is just trying to get writers to “cave.” After it received an invitation this week to meet with Disney CEO Bob Iger, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, and others, the WGA says it was “met with a lecture about how good their single and only counteroffer was.” The WGA rejected the proposal, adding that the AMPTP posted its counteroffer “not twenty minutes” after union representatives left the meeting.
“This was the companies’ plan from the beginning — not to bargain, but to jam us”
“We told them that a strike has a price, and that price is an answer to all — and not just some — of the problems they have created in the business,” the WGA writes. “This was the companies’ plan from the beginning — not to bargain, but to jam us. It is their only strategy — to bet that we will turn on each other.”
Writers have been on strike since May, with Hollywood actors joining them on the picket lines in July. But progress on establishing a fair contract has been slow — the WGA and AMPTP only began meeting regularly this month. So far, it doesn’t seem like producers have been the most flexible about meeting writers’ needs, but the WGA says it will share a more detailed update on negotiations today.
Disclosure: The Verge’s editorial staff is also unionized with the Writers Guild of America, East.