The One Troubling Detail in the Writers Guild’s New Deal

The WGA got the best deal possible for its members. But it looks like studios weren’t willing to budge on one notable non-negotiable.

HOLLYWOOD - NOVEMBER 20: Writers march on Hollywood Boulevard in support of the Writers Guild of America strike on November 20, 2007 in Hollywood, California.
Photo: Matthew Simmons | WireImage via Getty

As of 12:01 a.m. PT on Wednesday, September 27, the writers strike is over.

Though the ratification of the Guild’s fresh bargaining agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) won’t be official until all members vote affirmatively on it in the weeks to come, that is basically just a formality. The WGA’s negotiation team has secured a three-year Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) with studios that they are rightfully very proud of.

The full details of the WGA’s agreement can be found on the organization’s website. Ultimately, the WGA received $233 million per year in additional commitments from the AMPTP, which is less than the $429 million it sought but more than the $86 million studios initially offered. In addition to that $233 million, the WGA successfully negotiated new rules for the industry that will make writing a far more secure profession. These include: strict guidelines for the use of A.I. in scriptwriting, the enshrinement of paid writers’ rooms for TV productions that want them, a bigger piece of the streaming residual pie, and much more. This appears to be a great deal for the WGA that honors the risks that its members took and the sacrifices they made in going on strike.

Still, no agreement is perfect. Any deal made with the AMPTP was bound to come with a crucial concession or two. In the case of the WGA’s MBA, it’s pretty easy to identify which detail could cause issues later on: streaming viewership numbers.


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