March 25, 2023


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WGA leaders are looking for multiple benefits of television writer pay-diversification

3 min read

The Writers’ Guild of America has told big studios that television writers should be compensated for each episode and that writers should be given regular release rules on how long a show can be held.

“TV series on television and streaming platforms provide most of our members with employment opportunities,” the WGA Compromise Committee said in a message addressed to members on Thursday. “Still, there are certain trends in television production and use, especially on streaming platforms, which put pressure on the author’s income. These include moving to a shorter season, an uncertain release schedule, and the separation of writing from production itself. The perverse effect of this is that, although the content we create, now distributed to millions of viewers worldwide, has sparked an explosion in the profits of the industry, the authors are still lagging behind. “

The negotiating committee expressed its focus on the issue in a message sent to members about the guild’s discussions with Global of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Representatives of the WGA and AMPTP face the current film and TV contract expiring on June 30. Discussions began two weeks ago on a remote basis due to a coronavirus epidemic after the two start dates were vacated. The committee has sent eight messages to members since last week, including parental leave claims, overseas box office remnants and higher streaming remnants.

Thursday’s message noted that the WGA negotiated with Safeguards in 2015 to protect the authors of the short order series, which could now be six episodes per season.

“However, the pay cap of these provisions means that many writers are still pushing their weekly compensation to a minimum,” the WGA message said. “We are proposing to remove the income cap on span protection.”

The message further noted that short orders and uncertain production schedules, both for series and pilots, were kept for extended periods by many authors despite limited work.

“In today’s television market, writers need to be able to move on to the next job to make our year,” the WGA said. “The protection that was provided at the center of the last two rounds of negotiations began, but they have many exceptions. We suggest that the options and exceptions limit now extends to all authors who are not in the overall deals regardless of earnings and the option deadline is not more than 30 days. “

Misaev further noted that increasingly, writers have been asked to break the whole season of stories in rooms that meet for a short time and only provide scale, and those writers often ignore their episodic fees. “More work is being done in the short term and the value of the content created by the authors of this room needs to be adjusted to compensate for the weekly compensation,” the WGA said.

The WGA also offers higher minimum offers for writers working as a team, and script fees must be paid to staff writers, like any other author, for each script. “And we propose that working writers receive on-screen credit like the other writers in this series, and for that matter, everyone who works on the show,” the committee added.

The WGA talks are simultaneously being held through remote negotiations with the AMPTP on the SAG-AFTRA successor agreement. The Performers Union, which began negotiating the contract on April 27, is also facing a June 30 expiration.

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