CBS Pays Writers Guild $3 Million for Contract Violations

Writers for “MacGyver,” “SEAL Team” and “Hawaii Five-0” were required to continue working even after their rooms were declared closed

CBS, WGA West
CBS, WGA West

The Writers Guild of America West has reached a settlement with CBS that will see the network pay $3.05 million to 24 writers on “MacGyver,” “SEAL Team” and “Hawaii Five-0” for violations of the guild’s mutual bargaining agreement.

“Guild members providing writing services on these series were required to continue working even though the studio had declared the rooms closed and stopped making weekly compensation and benefit contribution payments to the impacted writers,” read a memo from guild president Meredith Stiehm, vice president Michele Mulroney and secretary-treasurer Betsy Thomas.

The WGA determined that this was a violation, as staff writers and Article 14 writers, who are writers with positions of story editor and higher, “should receive weekly pay and benefit contributions for each week they provide writing services as outlined in the MBA.”

TheWrap has reached out to CBS and will update with any comment.

The settlement negotiated by the guild includes all the owed pay and plan contributions for the 24 writers affected, as well as more than $1 million in interest. The WGA also says that it has identified “several companies” that have closed writers rooms early while requiring more work from guild members and says the settlement will set a precedent that “will help other writers who face this unacceptable practice.”

In the Wednesday memo, the WGA also touted the approximately $100 million that the guild’s legal department has collected for writers through its enforcement of its labor contracts, with around half of that total coming from residuals for writers of Netflix films that are released in theaters after an arbitrator ruled in favor of WGA West in a case on behalf of Eric Heisserer, writer of the Sandra Bullock horror film “Bird Box,” in 2022.

In 2024 alone, the WGA West legal department has collected $14.3 million in compensation for writers.

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