WGA Argues Strike Will Cost Studios More Than Settlement

The Writers Guild of America argued Tuesday that the strike will end up costing studios more if it goes on for “weeks and months” than it would cost to agree to writers’ demands.

In an email to members, the WGA negotiating committee said that its proposals would cost an estimated $429 million per year. The guild argued that is “modest” compared to the billions spent on content every year, and the billions in revenues earned each year by the major entertainment companies.

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“These companies have made billions in profit off writers’ work, and they tell their investors every quarter about the importance of scripted content,” the committee stated. “Yet they are risking significant continued disruption in the coming weeks and months that would far outweigh the costs of settling.”

The WGA also broke down the cost of its proposals by studio. According to the guild’s estimates, the WGA proposals would cost Disney $75 million per year; Netflix, $68 million; Warner Bros. Discovery, $47 million; Paramount Global, $45 million; NBCUniversal, $34 million; Amazon, $32 million; Sony, $25 million; and Apple, $17 million.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which negotiates on behalf of the studios, has previously raised doubts about the WGA estimates.

The WGA is seeking increased streaming residuals and substantial hikes in minimum pay scales, among other monetary items. But it is also seeking significant provisions regarding the way TV is made, arguing that studios should employ a minimum number of writers over a minimum period of time, and that writers should be hired throughout the production and editing process.

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