Writers union says studios’ counter-offer is ‘neither nothing nor nearly enough’

Striking Hollywood writers have said a counter-offer by the representatives of major Hollywood studios is “neither nothing nor nearly enough”.

On Thursday the Writers Guild of America (WGA) said it “will continue to advocate for proposals that fully address our issues rather than accept half measures”.

More than 11,000 members of the WGA have been on strike since May 2 over issues including pay and the threat of artificial intelligence (AI).

Earlier this week the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) released details of a “comprehensive package” which it said addressed all the issues the union has identified.

The AMPTP said the new offer recognises “the foundational role writers play in the industry and underscores the companies’ commitment to ending the strike”.

It includes “unprecedented terms” in the areas of generative AI, data transparency and minimum staffing, the AMPTP said.

Negotiators for both sides met on August 11 and have continued to meet since.

In an update on negotiations, shared with members on Thursday, the WGA said: “The companies’ counteroffer is neither nothing, nor nearly enough.

“We will continue to advocate for proposals that fully address our issues rather than accept half measures.

“Despite the AMPTP’s attempt at a detour around us, we remain committed to direct negotiations with the companies.

“That’s actually how a deal gets made and the strike ends. That will be good for the rest of the industry and the companies as well.

“Until then, we will see you on the picket lines.”

The WGA previously said it met in “good faith” with Walt Disney Company chief executive Bob Iger, Universal Pictures chairwoman Donna Langley, the co-chief executive of Netflix, Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros Discovery chief executive David Zaslav, and president of the AMPTP Carol Lombardini.

“We were met with a lecture about how good their single and only counter-offer was,” it said in a statement.

“We explained all the ways in which their counter’s limitations and loopholes and omissions failed to sufficiently protect writers from the existential threats that caused us to strike in the first place.

“We told them that a strike has a price, and that price is an answer to all – and not just some – of the problems they have created in the business.

“But this wasn’t a meeting to make a deal. This was a meeting to get us to cave, which is why, not 20 minutes after we left the meeting, the AMPTP released its summary of their proposals.

“This was the companies’ plan from the beginning – not to bargain, but to jam us.”