After Iger’s Comments, Is Writer’s Strike About to End?

WGA strike possibly ending

For more than 100 days, Hollywood’s writers have been on strike. The strike began when the Writers Guild of America and studios could not come to an agreement on certain terms. Mainly, the writers wanted protection from artificial intelligence taking their jobs. They also wanted better residuals from streaming services and to change the way studios use “mini writers’ rooms” so they don’t have to pay the writers as much.

WGA Strike

Credit: Diane Greene Lent, Flickr

The Guild and the studios have met up more than once since the strike, but nothing good came out of the meetings. The Guild claimed that the studios were refusing to bend on the biggest issues they wanted to talk about. The writers have also found support from the Screen Actors Guild, which has been marching next to them on the picket lines since mid-July.

Disney Actors residuals stories are horrifying

Credit: Herman de Keyperling, Flickr

One day before the actors went on strike, Disney CEO Bob Iger made some comments that many deemed out-of-touch. Iger said that the actors weren’t being “realistic” with their demands. That angered not only the actors, but also the writers, who felt that the studios would continue to try to play hardball and wait until the writers gave in. Iger seemingly backtracked on those comments during the third-quarter earnings call, saying that he was “personally committed” to ending the dual strikes.

Iger meets with employees after comments about selling media

Credit: Disney

It seems that Iger is sticking to his word. On August 11, the AMPTP — the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers — met with Guild representatives. Just days later, a new contract was offered to the writers.

According to multiple sources, the new contracts guarantee that writers will not be replaced by artificial intelligence in screenplay productions. The eight studios represented by the AMPTP also agree to disclose streaming viewership numbers, how many hours viewers spend watching a particular show, and how widely watched the programs are.

Disney Plus

Credit: Disney

The studios have also agreed to a 20% increase in residual payments that the writers receive. The issue of residuals — or lack thereof — is one of the biggest issues for both the writers and actors.

It does not appear that the AMPTP is willing to negotiate — yet — on a minimum amount of writers in each writers’ room, or a guaranteed duration of employment.

SAG-AFTRA strike

Credit: ABC

The guild has said that it will be responding to the contract offer by the end of the week. Should the writers not agree to the contract and continue the strike, the entertainment industry will continue to lose thousands of dollars every day. Because of the strikes, California’s economy has already taken a hit of about $3 billion, and that number is only going up.

The WGA has not said how long they are prepared to remain on strike. However, Fran Drescher — the President of SAG — has said that the actors’ guild is financially prepared to strike for six months.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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