How Hollywood’s Guilds Are Bracing for Crucial Negotiations in 2020

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Next year’s master contract talks will be critical for the future of streaming. SAG-AFTRA and WGA believe they’re going into them with a lot of leverage

WGA AMPTP negotiations

Despite much-publicized criticisms of their leadership, Gabrielle Carteris and David A. Goodman are still standing as the respective presidents of SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America after a contentious election period wrapped up last month.

Both say their guilds are more than ready to stand together ahead of talks that could shape the future of Hollywood’s multiple streaming services.

In the first half of 2020, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) will sit down with all three of Hollywood’s major guilds and iron out new film and television contracts. The timing of these talks is particularly critical because they come as multiple companies prepare to launch new streaming services, all of which are relying on the production of exclusive content to sell to potential subscribers.

For WGA members, those talks also are critical to protecting residuals and profit participant payments, both of which writers fear are being threatened by an increase push by studios — particularly Disney — who want to pay writers a larger sum up front in exchange for a smaller back-end deal or removing them entirely.

The Companies are looking actively to ‘buy us out’ up front, so they don’t have to share profits with us, and...