Hollywood studios offer striking WGA new deal with protections against AI: report

Hollywood studios offered screenwriters on the picket lines a new deal on Friday — the 102nd day of the writers’ strike — and it includes concessions on the use of artificial intelligence and access to viewer data, people familiar with the discussions told Bloomberg.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) — which represents studios and streamers like Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount — has agreed to ensure that humans rather than AI bots are credited as writers of screenplays, the outlet reported.

Writers with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) are still reportedly working to ensure that AI will not be used to undercut their compensation and credit.

The companies that are part of the AMPTP have also offered to share data on the number of hours viewed on streaming services — so writers can see how popular the programs they worked on are — should writers agree to take the deal, the unnamed sources told Bloomberg.

However, the viewership data revealed by increased transparency would not correlate with compensation.

Variety has since reported that the AMPTP’s proposal also addresses TV staff minimums, and would give showrunners significant authority to set the size of the staff.


Hollywood studios offered screenwriters on the picket lines a new deal on Friday that includes concessions on the use of artificial intelligence and increased transparency with viewer data.
Hollywood studios offered screenwriters on the picket lines a new deal on Friday that includes concessions on the use of artificial intelligence and increased transparency on viewer data.
Getty Images

The studios also addressed the size of the show’s budget, the outlet reported, though details of the discussions were kept confidential.

When The Post reached out to the WGA for comment, a spokesperson pointed to the union’s most recent update posted on Friday, which said: “Your Negotiating Committee received a counterproposal from the AMPTP today. We will evaluate their offer and, after deliberation, go back to them with the WGA’s response next week.”

The statement did not provide any insight into the discussions between the WGA and the AMPTP, though studios have previously indicated they would stick to the financial terms laid out in the Directors Guild of America’s contracts, and that they would create a higher tier of minimums for writer-producers.

The DGA’s economic terms include a 21% increase in streaming residuals and increases of 5%, 4% and 3.5% in most minimums, according to Variety.

“Sometimes more progress can be made in negotiations when they are conducted without a blow-by-blow description of the moves on each side and a subsequent public dissection of the meaning of the moves,” the WGA’s statement added.

The guild and the studios are reportedly scheduled to meet again on Tuesday to discuss the WGA’s response to the new terms.


Disney CEO Bob Iger said last week that he's
Disney CEO Bob Iger said last week that he’s “personally committed” to reaching an agreement, and he warned last month that the strike could have a “very damaging effect on the whole industry.”
REUTERS

Representatives for the AMPTP did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos has been very outspoken about wanting the strike to end.

“We very much hoped to reach an agreement by now,” Sarandos told investors during an earnings call last month.

“We’re super committed to getting to an agreement as soon as possible. One that’s equitable and one that enables the industry and everybody in it to move forward into the future,” he added.

Disney boss Bob Iger also told investors during a Q3 earnings call last week that “it is my fervent hope that we quickly find solutions to the issues that have kept us apart these past few months.”

“I am personally committed to working to achieve this result,” he added of the strike, which is the largest Hollywood has seen since the last WGA strike 15 years ago.

Iger’s most recent comments are a shift from his comments last month that the movement is disastrous.

“This is the worst time in the world to add to that disruption,” the Mouse House boss said at Sun Valley’s Allen & Co. annual conference, adding that the walkout could have a “very damaging effect on the whole industry.”

Should the WGA take the AMPTP’s latest offer, it would mean unionized writers would have a contract that aligns more with the demands they made earlier this year.

When those demands weren’t met, it led to a strike that has kept more than 11,500 writers on the picket lines since May 2.

The supposed new offering comes after more than 160,000 Hollywood workers represented by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists joined WGA members on strike in July, halting the production of highly anticipated films like “Gladiator 2” and the eighth “Mission Impossible,” plus streaming faves like “Outer Banks” and “Stranger Things.”


Some 11,500 writers with the WGA  have been on the picket lines since May 2. They were joined by over 160,000  workers represented by SAG-AFTRA last month.
Some 11,500 writers with the WGA have been on the picket lines since May 2. They were joined by over 160,000 workers represented by the actors’ union last month.
SARAH YENESEL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

If a new deal was struck in the coming days, the strike would end earlier than expected.

An executive close to AMPTP leadership previously said studios will “allow things to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses.”

The bigwigs believe that by October, most writers will be running out of money after five months on the picket lines and no work, the unnamed source told Deadline last month.

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