One of the hot-button issues for striking writers is getting paid on time, a proposal that the AMPTP rejected outright, a WGA member says.
“Secret Invasion” writer/producer Cat Vasko told TheWrap the reasoning she’s been told behind the refusal: “Their explanation was, then we wouldn’t be incentivized to work as hard. It’s insulting to hear with the amount of work that we already do for free,” she said.
Vasko, who’s also written the script for the upcoming adaptation of the novel “Queen of the Air,” was picketing outside of Paramount Studios this week. She said: “The feature system has been kind of broken for a while. One of our feature writing proposals was just pay us on a weekly basis, the exact same amount of money, but paid to us weekly, so that when we reached the end of our term, we’ve been paid. And they said, ‘No.’ It’s not even a difference in the amount of money. That’s completely irrational.”
She continued, “It’s very frustrating. If you were in any other field it would be unacceptable, but because it’s a creative field, there’s always this sense that, if you’re not willing to put up with these conditions, [plenty of other people will be]. I think we’re now seeing that’s been pushed to the limit.”
Vasko added, “The amount that we’re expected to do free work, not just to get a job, and even then once you have the job… It would be unacceptable in any other industry. There’s a lot of times where I’ll be on a Zoom and I’ll realize everyone here is getting paid except for me.
“All the people asking that free work of you don’t work for free. And then we started to see that kind of model trickle into television, as well. So now the TV writers are experiencing the same thing. I’m out here to say what we do is worth something, it has value. And that value needs to be acknowledged,” she said.
For all of TheWrap’s Hollywood strike coverage, click here.