Will the WGA Lose Their Homes Amid the Strike? Studios Respond to Reports

AMPTP Denies Plans to Let WGA Members Lose Their Homes Before Resuming Negotiations 259
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The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers denied allegations it is waiting until Writer’s Guild of America members lose “their homes” before considering renegotiations amid the ongoing writer’s strike. 

“These anonymous people are not speaking on behalf of the AMPTP or member companies, who are committed to reaching a deal and getting our industry back to work,” a spokesperson for the organization, which includes Warner Bros Discovery, Apple, Netflix, Amazon, Disney and Paramount, told Deadline on Wednesday, July 12. 

The comments come one day after the outlet reported that the AMPTP planned to hold out on meeting with the WGA until October in hopes writers would run out of money — and lose their homes.

Negotiations first broke down between the WGA and AMPTP for a new contract on May 1 — the guild’s first strike in over 15 years. At the time, the WGA demands included an updated contract that reflects the current media landscape, which centers itself on shorter seasons and streaming platforms

In their letter to members announcing the strike, the WGA emphasized that they negotiated for “fair pay that reflects the value of our contribution to company success and includes protections to ensure that writing survives as a sustainable profession.”

The AMPTP, meanwhile, felt they offered “generous” compensation. “Negotiations between the AMPTP and the WGA concluded without an agreement today,” the AMPTP said in a statement to Variety at the time. “The AMPTP presented a comprehensive package proposal to the Guild last night which included generous increases in compensation for writers as well as improvements in streaming residuals. The AMPTP also indicated to the WGA that it is prepared to improve that offer, but was unwilling to do so because of the magnitude of other proposals still on the table that the Guild continues to insist upon. The primary sticking points are ‘mandatory staffing,’ and ‘duration of employment’ — Guild proposals that would require a company to staff a show with a certain number of writers for a specified period of time, whether needed or not.”

While the Directors Guild of America also went on strike in late May, the AMPTP quickly found ratification for the DGA’s demands, setting a deal in motion last month. SAG-AFTRA, for their part, is set to join the WGA on the picket lines due to the AMPTP failing to compromise on contract deals. While SAG-AFTRA was initially set to strike after their current contract was up on June 30, they agreed to an extension that expires on Thursday, July 13 at 11:59 p.m. PT. 

Among the actors’ sticking points for a new agreement are improved compensation and benefits, residuals amid the expansion of streaming services and regulated use of artificial intelligence. On Wednesday, SAG-AFTRA negotiators agreed to AMPTP’s request for a federal mediator, sharing that it would “exhaust every possible opportunity to make a deal,” adding, however, that they “are not confident that the employers have any intention of bargaining toward an agreement.”

The writer’s strike has already delayed or shut down various productions across the country as well as affected awards shows and late-night programming. If actors join in the movement, all remaining scripted series still in production would be forced to shut down immediately. 

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