The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has commenced high-stakes negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) for a new three-year contract, as the current agreement is set to expire on May 1.
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Representing over 11,000 television and movie writers, the WGA is seeking higher compensation, improved workplace standards, and a boost in contributions to pension and health funds.
The outcome of these negotiations will determine if the entertainment industry faces its first writers’ strike in 15 years.
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As the industry shifts towards streaming platforms, the WGA claims that Hollywood companies have taken advantage of this change to devalue writers’ work, leading to worsening working conditions.
The rapid transition to streaming entertainment has upended nearly every corner of Hollywood, and writers believe they have been left behind.
With fewer episodes per season on streaming platforms compared to traditional networks, writers are often paid less while working more.
Residual fees, or money paid when a film or series is rerun or aired on broadcast, have helped supplement writers’ income for years.
However, these fees are disappearing in the streaming era, where most projects ultimately land.
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The WGA is also asking for studios to establish standards around the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
The guild wants the use of AI regulated in terms of material created for the studios.
The exact terms of agreement regarding AI have yet to be determined, and the WGA will have to overcome several hurdles to deliver its objectives to members.
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With the growing demand for content, many professionals in the entertainment industry work on a project-to-project basis, leading to job insecurity and a lack of long-term stability.
This gig economy structure can make it difficult for workers to plan their careers and secure stable income.
The potential writers’ strike highlights the need for better workplace standards and more reliable compensation structures to address the challenges faced by Hollywood workers in this evolving landscape.
Link to the rest at Culture.org