The Writers Guild of America fired back at the major media companies they have been negotiating a new contract with after the group representing the studios released details of its latest proposal.
(Bloomberg) — The Writers Guild of America fired back at the major media companies they have been negotiating a new contract with after the group representing the studios released details of its latest proposal.
The screenwriters, who have been on strike since May 2, said a meeting Tuesday night with studio executives amounted to “a lecture about how good their single and only counteroffer was.” The guild, in a statement posted on its website, said “this wasn’t a meeting to make a deal. This was a meeting to get us to cave.”
They promised a more detailed description of the state of the negotiations on Wednesday.
Carol Lombardini, president of the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, which represents the studios, said in a separate statement Tuesday night, that her group’s goal is to end the strike. “We have come to the table with an offer that meets the priority concerns the writers have expressed,” she said.
The dueling press releases are just the latest skirmish in a months-long work stoppage that has stalled film and TV show production across the entertainment industry. The Screen Actors Guild, seeking similar changes in its new contract, has been on strike since July.
The studios proposed increasing the salary for writers, protections against the use of artificial intelligence and sending the writers’ union quarterly reports disclosing viewership for series. Bloomberg reported many of the details of the offer last week.
Chief executive officers of major media companies have gotten more involved in the negotiations in recent weeks, hoping to bring the dispute that has lasted all summer to an end. A group of CEOs, including Walt Disney Co.’s Bob Iger, Netflix Inc.’s Ted Sarandos and Warner Bros Discovery Inc.’s David Zaslav met with the leadership of the writers guild on Tuesday.
Read More: Why Hollywood’s Actors and Writers Are on Strike: QuickTake
The guild and the studios have continued to meet since the studios proposed the new deal earlier this month. But the two sides have yet to resolve all their disagreements. The writers are still pushing for the studios to staff a mandatory number of writers on every show and pay them additional money based on the popularity of their work.
“We explained all the ways in which their counter’s limitations and loopholes and omissions failed to sufficiently protect writers from the existential threats that caused us to strike in the first place,” the guild said in its statement. “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.”
–With assistance from Charles Capel.
(Updates with addition comments from writers in second paragraph.)
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