New Writers Guild Contract All About Getting Paid for Streaming

Carla Harmon
May 13, 2017

The Writers Guild of America early Tuesday morning reached a tentative deal with the major studios and networks for a new film and TV contract for the union's almost 13,000 members.

The sides agreed provisions to make up for shorter TV seasons - an issue since the advent of streaming services - and a 15-percent increase in pay television residuals, according to a memo to writers on the Writers Guild of America website.

The deal now goes to the WGA West's board and the WGA East's council for approval, and then to the guilds' members for ratification, but it seems like folks are pretty happy with what the negotiators were able to get, so expect the deal to go through.

The AMPTP also agreed to update to a logo not from the 1960s.

The most recent strike was an acrimonious 100-day work stoppage, fueled by the WGA's demand for new media residuals and jurisdiction.

Are you relieved to hear we wont have to endure that again? A deal was struck after a haggling session with studios extended past a midnight deadline into Tuesday's early morning hours.

The Guild also wanted to amend language that had made it hard, if not impossible, for writers to work on more than one show per season.

It's worth pointing out that the first time a writer's strike took place in the USA, it gave birth to reality television as we know it - Cops, for example, was born out of necessity.

The WGA negotiation committee has made significant process in several areas though, most notably in terms of writers' rights when it comes to short seasons in television (an increasingly prevalent working condition).

More outlets have led to more shows, but the TV season model is greatly changed. That means those who are paid by episode are missing out. said Tuesday's deal also covered health and parental leave benefits, citing a memo sent to Guild members. The main sticking points are compensation and healthcare.

Read the letter from the WGA negotiating committee to guild members below. The previous writers' strike took an estimated 2 billion dollar toll on the state.

The last-minute agreement averts a potentially devastating strike that would have impacted production throughout the industry and buffeted Los Angeles' entertainment industry that employs about 240,000 people. However, a prolonged walkout eventually would have affected feature films, which are fewer in number and have longer-range production timetables.

The WGA was set to strike if the two sides hadn't reached a deal by May 1.

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