TV and film production companies lost “at least” $5 billion, according to one member of the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA).
The WGA announced this morning that it reached a “tentative agreement” to end the 146-day writers’ strike.
In an email sent to members, the WGA said the deal it had struck with production companies was “exceptional” with “meaningful progress and gains for writers”.
WGA leaders are expected to vote on Tuesday whether to officially end the strike.
WGA Member Mark Gibson told Moncrieff ordinary members of the guild have not yet seen the deal.
“We just know that the big negotiations started at the end of last week when the CEOs of the companies finally sat down at the table,” he said.
“But based on what we're hearing, we know our negotiating committee would not be making a deal if they didn't get certain parameters of how they're going to calculate residuals on streaming, how they're going to make sure that there's X number of writers for each TV series.
“There's a bunch of things in there that I'm fairly confident that they've walked away with, or else they wouldn't be making this announcement.”
It's estimated companies have lost $5 billion since the beginning of the strike, Mr Gibson believes that the estimate is "probably less than the actual number lost".
"At some point the big wigs were off vacationing and not really keeping their eye on the ball and really doing a disservice," he said.
"They're not doing their shareholders any favors, they're not doing the town any favors, and they're not doing the people who watch their streaming services any favours."
Mr Gibson explained the origin of the months-long strike leads back to 2019.
“When the business went to streaming, everything changed,” he said.
“When our contracts were up for renewal in 2019, that’s right about when COVID-19 hit, and we just rubber-stamped those contracts.
“All of those issues have come to play now, which is shorter series, smaller rooms for writers, and less residual payments.
“When a TV show went to network TV, there would be several revenue streams, but once it goes into a streaming service, there's no revenue stream except for the subscriber fees.”
Studios sold off many TV shows and films to streaming services such as Netflix, according to Mr Gibson, which costed writers (and actors) a lot of money.
“The big studios made a big mistake when they all created these streaming services,” he said.
WGA called on its members to hold off on striking until it decides whether to agree to the final negotiations made.
After nearly 150 days on strike, Mr Gibson said he can’t believe writers made it this far.
“They really did not anticipate us holding together for as long as we did, which was not easy,” he said.
“I was very impressed by the solidarity and mainly the leadership did a fantastic job in just keeping everybody on point.”
Actors remain on strike until their own union, SAG-AFTRA, reaches an agreement with production companies.
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