Hollywood studios offer striking writers a guaranteed minimum length of employment and control around the use of generative artificial intelligence. 

August 23, 2023–The coalition representing Hollywood studios and streaming services made what it believes to be its best offer to striking writers on August 23, releasing the terms of its latest contract in the hopes of persuading the Writers Guild of America to accept the deal, it was reported in a Wall Street Journal article by Joe Flint.

In a press release from the Alliance of Motion Picture Television and Producers, the studios said they offered a guaranteed minimum length of employment, controls around the use of generative artificial intelligence, wage and residual increases, and quarterly reports on viewing hours per title for streaming shows.

“This new package substantially improves upon the AMPTP’s prior proposals,” the press release said. The comprehensive package also features first-of-their-kind offers for writers, including unprecedented terms in the areas of Generative Artificial Intelligence, data transparency, and minimum staffing.
Carol Lombardini, President of the AMPTP, said, “Our priority is to end the strike so that valued members of the creative community can return to what they do best and to end the hardships that so many people and businesses that service the industry are experiencing. 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.”
The same day the offer was made public, The Writers Guild called the studios’ memo a ploy “not to bargain, but to jam us” while reactions ranged from “a good foundation” to “I can see loopholes all over” as picketing members read the details.

If a deal isn’t reached soon, the 2023-2024 television season and many highly-rated movies might be delayed or scrapped altogether. The WGA and studios have been in negotiations for four months.

The alliance, which represents major entertainment companies including Disney, Warner Bros.,NetflixAmazon, and Paramount, said its latest offer addresses “all of the issues” the writers identified as major priorities.

In touting its offer, the AMPTP said it includes a compound 13% wage increase over the three-year contract. In addition, there is a 15% bump for writers who also serve as producers on a television show in the first year of the new deal.

It is also offering a 21.5% jump in worldwide residuals for high-budget streaming shows.

The group said it would agree to a WGA request regarding minimum staffing and a guaranteed length of employment for writers, though its offer included fewer guaranteed writing jobs than what the writers sought.

In offering to share additional data on how shows fared confidentially on a quarterly basis, the studios said writers would be able to develop proposals to restructure streaming residuals in the future.

On the hot-button issue of using artificial intelligence, the AMPTP said it is providing safeguards to protect writers from being disadvantaged if the studio uses generative AI for any part of a script. Writers’ compensation, credit, and rights won’t be affected by that use.

Read the details of the offer.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal.