Hollywood’s Labor Talks Begin With the Future of Streaming at Stake

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Amid a Wall Street squeeze on studios, guilds are forming a united front on demanding major changes to pay scales for digital releases

WGA AMPTP Guild talks start
(Credit: Christopher Smith for TheWrap)

Studios began negotiating with the entertainment industry’s labor guilds Monday, marking the start of a critical period for Hollywood’s future.

While the specific needs of the WGA, DGA and SAG-AFTRA vary, the three guilds are on the same page in demanding significant changes to how their members are paid for TV shows and films released on streaming, which since the last industrywide strike in 2008 has become the foremost medium through which Hollywood’s work is viewed worldwide.

For the WGA leadership, such changes are essential to reverse the trend of more writers working at minimum rates with fewer hours and less of a chance at getting hired for higher positions regardless of experience.