As the Writer’s Strike moves into its second week in Hollywood, the major TV studios, including Disney’s 20th Television and ABC Signature Studios, along with Warner Brothers Television, CBS Studios and Universal Studios Group, have been contacting writers/producers who are currently signed on for overall deals, to inform them that they are being suspended.

Disney’s studios sign overall deals with many creators to write and develop shows for the television networks.

According to Deadline, the language of these notifications between the studios is varied, with NBC Universal calling them “Suspended Engagement”, while Disney, Warner Brothers and CBS refer to it as “Suspended Services”. Showrunners have been notified that the compensation they receive under their term deals has been suspended from May 2nd 2023. In the notifications from Disney, it states that all pay is suspended “except as specified in the Agreement.” However, Disney and Warner Brothers TV are continuing payments to producers, who have series still in production.

It is normal for studios to suspend overall deals during the strike. However, back during the last strike, a number of overall deals were terminated due to a force majeure clause. With studios looking to cut costs, these overall deals might be at risk, especially if they feel they aren’t getting as much value out of them as they’d like.

The report is also saying that writers/producers who are under overall deals, who the studios want to continue to work with in the future, are likely to extend the time of the strike suspension onto the back end of their deals.

The Writers Guild Of America is a labour union representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media, and broadcast news. The Guilds negotiate and administer contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of their members; conduct programs, seminars, and events on issues of interest to writers; and present writers’ views to various bodies of government. The decision to go on strike 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).

WGA is stating that the studios behaviour has 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 labor force and opened the door to writing as an entirely freelance profession. No such deal could ever be contemplated by this membership.

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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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