‘Best and Final’ Offer Sent to Striking Screenwriters—but There’s One Snag

REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reportedly sent a “best and final” offer to WGA members on Saturday evening, leading to reports on Sunday that a deal to end a 145-day strike was imminent.

With the most recent round of negotiations reportedly yielding major progress, the two sides were set to meet again on Sunday to continue bargaining. Studio sources told the Los Angeles Times that they hoped to ink a deal by the end of that day’s meeting.

“The intention was always to wrap this up by the weekend,” an insider told Deadline. “That was the desire on both sides of the table.”

Daytime Shows Follow Drew Barrymore’s Lead in Pausing Until Strikes End

The studios’ latest offer comes after four days of intense negotiations, including a marathon eight-hour session on Saturday. The two sides came to the table on Wednesday; a day later, the heads of four major studios—Bob Iger, Ted Sarandos, David Zaslav, and Donna Langley— reportedly joined the talks.

But sources familiar with the matter told NBC News, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter on Saturday that one major sticking point was the language surrounding the use of artificial intelligence. According to Variety, those negotiations had largely come down to matters of fine print, signaling that a breakthrough may be close.

Beyond AI, the fight to secure a new three-year contract includes issues surrounding a better share of streaming revenue, increased royalties and residual payments, and minimum staffing in writers’ rooms.

Any agreement would first have to be ratified by the WGA’s 11,500 voting members. Even then, filming on most television and movie sets is unlikely to immediately resume given the state of the parallel actors’ strike.

The writers’ historic labor action, which began in May, opened the throttle two months later, when SAG-AFTRA announced that its 160,000 members would also go on strike.

The actors are demanding general wage increases, increased residuals, fair compensation for use of their likenesses, limits to the use of A.I., improvements in health and retirement benefits, and changes to how self-taped auditions work.

Leaders in both unions have kept in close contact during the simultaneous strikes, but SAG-AFTRA has not held formal talks with the AMPTP since the union’s actors walked off the job 72 days ago.

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