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Hollywood writers’ union says new proposal from studios not enough

HOLLYWOOD studios and streaming services on Tuesday released the terms of a revised proposal to striking writers, but the union urged members to continue picketing as the new offer failed to address all their concerns.

The Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) had walked off the job on May 2 after negotiations reached an impasse and were later joined by members of the Screen Actors Guild, halting productions across Hollywood and costing the California economy billions of dollars.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which negotiates on behalf of companies including Walt Disney and Netflix, changed its offer to include new details about critical issues like compensation, minimum staffing, residual payments, and curbs on artificial intelligence (AI).

According to the latest proposal, the WGA will get a compounded 13% pay increase over the three-year contract, and AI-generated written content will not be considered “literary material.”

The streaming platforms also offered to provide the WGA, which represents around 11,500 film and television writers, with the total number of hours viewed for each made-for-streaming show in confidential quarterly reports.

“We have come to the table with an offer that meets the priority concerns the writers have expressed. We are deeply committed to ending the strike and are hopeful that the WGA will work toward the same resolution,” AMPTP President Carol Lombardini said in a statement.

WGA received the counterproposal from AMPTP on Aug. 11 and on Tuesday met with Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger, Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav, NBCUniversal Studio Group Chair Donna Langley and Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos, to discuss the new offer.

“But this was not a meeting to make a deal. This was a meeting to get us to cave,” WGA said in a message to its members.

The union said it explained in the meeting why the offer fell short and “failed to sufficiently protect writers from the existential threats that caused us to strike in the first place,” but AMPTP released details of the proposal anyway.

WGA plans to continue picketing and said it would share with members more details on the state of the negotiations.

“And we will see you all out on the picket lines and let the companies continue to see what labor power looks like,” it said. — Reuters

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