Writers have had over 36 hours to review for themselves the latest offer made to the WGA negotiating committee by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. And on Thursday, the guild’s leadership said what a lot of members online have shouted: these proposals are “not yet good enough.”
The AMPTP’s proposal when it comes to the writers’ key issues like larger staff sizes, AI, and viewership-based residuals has too many “loopholes, limitations, and omissions,” the guild says. They make gains in some areas while leaving others out of the same benefits. They ignore some key concerns and kick the can down the road to 2026 for others. And many of the monetary gains are the same term offered to — and accepted by — the DGA in June.
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“The companies’ counteroffer is neither nothing, nor nearly enough. We will continue to advocate for proposals that fully address our issues rather than accept half measures like those mentioned above and other proposals not listed here,” the guild wrote in a message to membership on Thursday.
The guild did not go line by line through the AMPTP’s six-page document, nor did it release a chart outlining any of its latest proposals, which have reportedly changed since the guild first went on strike on May 1. But it did challenge a few of the key points that the AMPTP noted as significant gains.
With the staffing size deal point, the guild acknowledged the companies introducing a notion of a guarantee on room size but called the proposal “effectively toothless.” It declined to go into further detail, but some writers have argued it opens up loopholes for a studio to take away the decision making power from one showrunner and give it to another.
On AI, the guild noted what IndieWire observed yesterday, which is that while the guild has “seen movement” in offering protections, the proposal does not address using WGA-covered work to train AI models, which many writers see as theft or plagiarism. And when it comes to data transparency, the guild views the AMPTP’s offer as “limited” in terms of the data they can view and are still demanding an additional residual that is based on that viewership data, which was not offered in the AMPTP’s proposal.
Other improvements, like the proposed “second step” for screenwriters, the guild says only covers a small category of writers and does not address weekly pay. And the proposed benefits for comedy-variety writers for SVOD streaming shows does not also include game show writers, daytime writers, or other “Appendix A” writers.
The WGA’s more detailed response comes after leadership had a meeting with some of the industry’s top CEOs, including Bob Iger, David Zaslav, Donna Langley, and Ted Sarandos. They also say the offer made on August 11 say it was the AMPTP’s only substantive counteroffer, despite several meetings since then.
What the latest update does not make clear is whether this means negotiations are fully stalled or if neither side is expected to come back to the table for the time being.
But the guild reiterated prior guidance that its proposals, if agreed to by the companies, should only cost them a fraction of a percent of each company’s annual revenue. The guild has estimated it will cost $429 million per year collectively to the studios, though the AMPTP has previously disputed those figures.
“Weigh this against the cost of not making a deal: the cost to 11,500 writers; to actors, crews and drivers; to anyone who works in and around the business but is not on strike; to the economies of California and New York and everywhere film and television is made; to consumers, pension plans and other shareholders; and to the companies themselves. It makes no sense. And everybody but the AMPTP knows it,” the guild said.
The effects have been real across the industry. Shortly after the WGA made its formal response, a spokesperson for the independent content company Fifth Season announced that as a result of the strikes it would be cutting 30 jobs, or about 12 percent of the company, to reduce overhead.
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