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'The WGA is confident we are close to a deal'

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While there’s no word yet on the progress of today’s talks between the WGA and the AMPTP, the union has posted an extensive analysis on its website today about the latest offer from the companies worth $130 million over the next three years and expresses hope that “if the AMPTP is serious about this figure, the WGA is confident we are close to a deal and hopeful that the companies will respond positively to our sincere movement to partner with them.” 

According to the report, most WGA writers earn “middle class wages” averaging $62,000 annually over a five-year period. Since, 2000, however, revenue for the entertainment companies have grown from $63 billion to $95 billion, the analysis claims. “WGA members have actually fallen behind,” the report says. “While entertainment segment

revenue has grown at an annual rate of 7 percent over the last 7 years,

writers’ earnings and residuals have grown only 3.5 percent.”

As a result, the union says it has proposed a $151 million deal over three years that doesn’t include a plan to improve the DVD formula, which it claims is equal to $57 million over the life of the contract. The WGA estimates their proposed payout would break down to $1.68 million per year from Sony; $6.25 million per year from Disney; $4.66 million per year for Paramount and CBS each; $11.2 million from Warners; $6.04 million from Fox; $7.44 million from NBC/Universal, and $320K for MGM. All the other companies would assume the remaining cost of about $8.3 million per year.

“We are pleased that the companies have stated their willingness to make a three year deal worth upwards of $130 million,” the report concludes. “While we do not see how their proposal adds up to that number, we do know that our proposal is a serious, reasonable, and affordable attempt to bridge the gap between us. If it doesn’t, it will bring into question how serious the companies really are about making a deal.”

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