If negotiations between The Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) fail, production on Star Trek: Discovery could be affected.
The two groups have resumed talks today after a two-week break in the negotiations that occurred when an AMPTP offer was rejected by the WGA.
“Writers have seen their fees go down by 23%,” said Chris Keyser, co-chair of the WGA negotiating committee. “For the last five or so years…the companies have seen a boom from the growth in TV. There’s been an ability to reach a huge number of people around the world at any time.”
The writers also want better health and pension benefits and to improve their royalty arrangements, and better script fees and residuals.
“It used to be that you’d create a show, and you’d get a percentage of the back end or the residuals,” said TV producer Kenchy Ragsdale, former head of development for Sofia Vergara‘s production company, Raze.
“Costs are up, and contributions are capped at our incomes,” said Keyser. We’ve been in the red three of the last five years.”
“Our objective continues to be to reach an agreement with the WGA at the bargaining table,” said the AMPTP‘s spokesperson Jarryd Gonzales. “We hope the guild will engage with us on the issues in that forum when negotiations resume on April 10th.”
“We took almost fifty percent off the table from our negotiations, and they responded with key rollbacks,” said Keyser. “This is not a sufficient response. We didn’t counter, and they said don’t bother coming back to the table.
“We’ve agreed to come Monday to begin a conversation. If we were to strike — and we’re many steps away from that — every writer would put their pens down, and even if something is in the middle of production, the writers will stop writing.”
Some of the shows that would be affected would be Netflix‘s Marvel dramas and One Day at a Time, HBO’s Divorce, Star Trek: Discovery, and FX‘s American Horror Story.
The WGA will “poll its members for a strike authorization vote, with online voting to run April 19 to 24.”