WGA Leadership Says Long Strike Would Cost Studios More Than A Settlement; Studio Exec Responds – Update
UPDATED with quote from studio exec, 1:28 PM: As the Writers Guild strike begins its third week, the guild’s negotiating committee today sent a message to WGA members it dubbed “The Cost of Settling” (read it below). They argue that “the studios are risking significant continued disruption in the coming weeks and months that would far outweigh the costs of settling.”
The union estimates that its “proposals on the table at contract expiration on May 1 would cost the industry collectively $429 million per year, approximately $343 million of which is attributable to eight of our largest employers.”
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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,” says the letter signed by David A. Goodman, Chris Keyser, Ellen Stutzman more than two dozen others.
The message comes a day after WGA leadership sent a message to members that incorrectly said: “Based on prior estimates, the strike could be costing about $30 million a day in lost studio output. A DAY.” The strike actually is costing California economy $30 million a day, not the studios.
Responding to the WGA’s recently stated figures, a studio exec told Deadline today, “They are baseless and just made up to gin up their membership and make for provocative headlines.”
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Here is the negotiating committee’s full message to membership:
The Writers Guild of America has now been on strike for two weeks because the AMPTP refuses to negotiate a fair deal to address the existential crisis writers are facing.
The WGA estimates the proposals on the table at contract expiration on May 1 would cost the industry collectively $429 million per year, approximately $343 million of which is attributable to eight of our largest employers.
For perspective, tens of billions are spent on the programming writers create, $19 billion alone on original content for streaming services this year. And the cost of these proposed improvements is modest compared to industry revenues and profits, but are essential to writers whose pay and working conditions have eroded over the past decade.
What would the cost of our contract proposals currently on the table look like on a company-by-company basis? Take a look:
These companies have made billions in profit off writers’ work, and they tell their investors every quarter about the importance of scripted content. Yet they are risking significant continued disruption in the coming weeks and months that would far outweigh the costs of settling.
WGA NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE
Here are all the signatories on today’s message:
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