Later this week, the Writer’s Guild Of America and the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers), will meet together to continue negotiations to come to an agreement to end the writer’s strike potentially.  The writer’s union is striking over many different issues facing their members, including better working conditions,  protection against artificial intelligence, residuals and minimum staffing requirements.

Last week, the two sides came together for their first full meeting since the writer’s strike started in May, where the studios provided a counteroffer to the writer’s union.  Bloomberg has reported that the deal from the studios touched on all of the major issues, with minimum staffing being one of the concessions.

The union wants the studios to implement a minimum staffing requirement for shows , however, the studios don’t want to put a specific number on this, which makes some sense, as every project will have different requirements, i.e. a show like “Grey’s Anatomy” would need lots more writers to make a full season of 20+ episodes, compared to a low-budget limited series of a few episodes.

So the studios have countered with an offer, which would allow the showrunners the significant authority to set the size of the staff, with an additional factor for the size of the show’s budget.

Other concessions include addressing the demand by union members for better transparency on viewership data from the streaming platforms.  Currently, the writers aren’t given exact detail on how well or how badly their shows have been performing on streaming platforms, though third-party data companies like Samba or Nielsen can give an indication if something is a hit.  The studios are also offering more regulations around the use of artificial intelligence. However, the writers union will likely want more protection.

Pay is another major issue for streaming platforms. The studios have offered the writer’s and actor’s unions an offer similar to the Director’s Guild Of America, who came to an agreement earlier this year.   The new offer looks to increase residual payments for writers by more than when their shows appear on networks other than the original one they were made for.

Other pay benefits in the new proposal include salary increases and a minimum duration of work for writers in “mini-rooms,” which is where a smaller number of writers work before a show is picked up or renewed.  The studios are also now offering a 5% rise in base pay for the first year, which is up from the 4% they offered, but not quite the 6% the union wanted.

There is supposed to be a media blackout between the studios and the writer’s union during the negotiations, so this news coming out, should be treated as suspicious as part of the strategy to get the public and members of the union on side, knowing that the studios are bending somewhat, to some of the demands.  Apparently, Disney CEO Bob Iger, along with Netflix’s Co-Chief Executive Officer Ted Sarandos, has become a strong force in trying to reach an agreement.  Considering how Bob Iger put his foot in it with a recent interview with CNBC and the overall negativity to his comments about the writer’s and actor’s unions not being realistic, Bob could do with some good PR, as he has become one of the most unpopular people in Hollywood.

With the studios and unions coming back together, there is optimism that the two sides could come to an agreement and the writers could return to work.   But as with any strike, it can take a while for negotiations to allow both sides to agree, but with them talking, it’s got a better chance of being sorted than it was a few weeks ago.

Do you think the writers should accept the new deal?  Let us know on social media!

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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