Writers Strike 2023 WGA
ManOfTheCenturyMovie News WGA at the Studios: We’re asking for a fraction of a percentage of your annual revenue

WGA at the Studios: We’re asking for a fraction of a percentage of your annual revenue

Writers Strike 2023 WGA

According to estimates by the Writers Guild of America, accepting the guild’s proposals for a new agreement it would cost the studios less than one percent of each studio’s annual revenue. With the strike now in for two weeks, the WGA says extending the strike will cost the studios much more.

If the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) agreed to the WGA’s May 1st proposals, the AMPTP would collectively pay writers an extra $429 million annually. In a letter to its members, the WGA broke down the costs at the individual studio level.

The AMPTP represents over 350 manufacturing companies; based on the study’s eight top employers, the total would be approximately $343 million. Topping the list are Disney and Netflix; and they would pay $75 million and $68 million more, respectively.

As a percentage of total revenue, that extra cost is a fraction of a percentage point. For Netflix, it is 0.214% (2022 revenue: $31.6 billion) and for Disney, it is 0.091% (2022 revenue: $82.7 billion).

Pure content companies like Paramount and Warner Bros. Discovery will feel the pinch a little more, but we’re still talking 0.148% and 0.108%, respectively. For tech giants Apple and Amazon, they argue, it doesn’t even amount to a rounding error. Here are the costs per studio flat:

  • Disney – $75 million
  • Netflix – $68 million
  • Warner Bros. Discovery – $47mm
  • Paramount Global – $45 million
  • NBC Universal – $34 million
  • Amazon – $32mm
  • Sony – 25mm
  • Apple – $17mm

“These companies have made billions in profits from writers, and they tell their investors every quarter about the importance of written content. However, they are risking significant and continued disruption in the coming weeks and months that would far outweigh the costs of the resolution,” the guild negotiating committee said in a statement to members.

The guild did not provide further details on how it calculated these per-study costs, but did refer to data on the general state of the sector.

The AMPTP has previously doubted some of the WGA’s estimates and has argued that the biggest sticking point in the negotiations isn’t costs, but what it says are “mandatory staffing” requirements. The guild argues that the requirements are necessary to preserve the writers room and the growth of future writers; studies say it is “incompatible with the creative nature of our industry.”

The WGA messaging comes as the AMPTP is currently negotiating with the Directors Guild of America their contract, which expires June 30.

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