Hollywood studios have presented a new proposal to writers that includes the highest wage increase in 35 years, protections against the impact of artificial intelligence, and other provisions. CBS News reports: Writers have been picketing outside major studios for over 100 days, surpassing the 2007-2008 strike. One of the major sticking points between the two sides was their stark differences in wage increases and residuals. The proposal sent to the Writers Guild of America on Aug. 11 includes a 5% increase in the first year of the contract, then 4% the next year, and 3.5% in the third, totaling a compounded 13% increase. Before the WGA went on strike on May 2, the AMPTP offered writers 4%-3%- 2% in the respective years, or 9% over the duration of the contract. The recent offer does not match the WGA’s demand of 6%-5%-5% in the respective years but does bring them from $9,888 a week to $11,371 a week for guarantees of up to 9 weeks.
They also moved to guarantee writers a minimum of 10 weeks of employment, a proposal they initially refused before the strike. AMPTP also increased the total domestic and foreign residuals for writers from $72,067 to $87,546 per episode over three years. Additionally, the union seemed to cave on the WGA’s proposal to implement a viewership-based streaming residuals model. “For the first time, viewership data in the form of quarterly confidential reports is to be provided to the WGA that will include total SVOD view hours per title. This increased transparency will enable the WGA to develop proposals to restructure the current SVOD residual regime in the future,” AMPTP wrote in the offer. Previously, the studios flat-out rejected the proposal and refused to make a counter, according to the WGA.
Studios also included a tenet regarding artificial intelligence protections in the proposed deal. “The Companies confirm that because [Generative Artificial Intelligence] is not a person, it is not a ‘writer’ or ‘professional writer’ as defined in this MBA and, therefore, written material produced by GAI will not be considered literary material under this or any prior MBA,” the AMPTP wrote in the offer. The union continued: “The proposal provides important safeguards to prevent writers from being disadvantaged if any part of the script is based on GAI-produced material, so that the writer’s compensation, credit and separated rights will not be affected by the use of GAIproduced material.” Before the writers went on strike, the studios rejected the proposal and countered by “offering annual meetings to discuss advancements in technology,” according to the WGA.
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