Negotiations on a labor contract between the writers and producers continued throughout the week, with the WGA union negotiators delivering a counterproposal to the AMPTP on Tuesday followed by daily talks through Thursday. While both sides are demonstrating their interest in continuing these discussions, they are said to be far apart on resolving key issues such as residual pay and staffing levels.
While studios are offering more transparency on viewership for their streaming platforms, they remain unwilling to directly link writers’ compensation to online viewership. As for staffing levels, the studios have offered commitments to employ a set number of writers for larger productions but are asking for more flexibility on smaller ones. The writers have rejected both proposals, holding firm on their demands to have residuals calculated on streaming viewership and employ an “industry standard” number of writers on all productions. On the bright side, the sides are closer to agreement on the uses of Artificial Intelligence in production.
The writers and actors appear to be winning the public relations war, with polls showing broad support for the striking unions rather than the studios. Polling firm Data for Progress found that 67% of the respondents to its survey were either “strongly” or “somewhat” supportive of WGA while only 18% felt similar about the studio position. 86% of those expressing support for the WGA, said that they would continue to support the strikers even if their favorite series or anticipated movies were delayed. As long as the WGA has this level of public support, the unions may feel emboldened to stay the course until all their key demands have been met.
See also: Poll Shows 67% of Americans Surveyed Support the WGA and SAG-AFTRA Strikes (Variety)