Next 10 Things the WGA Should Fight For
Agent, manager and lawyer fee reductions, AI legislation, Fin-Syn: the union has momentum to reform Hollywood. Here's how
One of the most impressive things about the WGA’s messaging post-strike is its focus: the long term.
Many of the biggest wins in its recent negotiations with the AMPTP meant that the WGA got a foot in the door (or a crowbar into a safe, which was one analogy I heard), and once that’s happened, those issues — room sizes, data transparency, residuals — can be fought over in future contract negotiations.
The WGA shouldn’t stop there, though. It should consider this last negotiation with the AMPTP as merely one part of what I see as a longer war to change many of the forces that economically harm writers (and by extension all labor in the entertainment industry).
But today, I want to address structural headwinds that can’t be addressed by the studios, yet if reformed, can deliver financial victories to our labor force that could help us not get stuck in an endless cycle of strikes every three years when agreements expire.
WGA leadership proved themselves adept in negotiation and organization, and shouldn't waste their momentum. If even a fraction of this summer’s energy can be funneled into politics and legislation, writers (and directors, actors and below the line workers) can keep making gains.
Here are crucial issues the WGA, in my opinion, should start fighting for. I’ll go into more detail below:
A reduction in commissions to agents and managers (who couldn’t do what the WGA could: get raises above guild minimum for their writers)
Standardized contracts to eliminate the need for expensive entertainment lawyers for young writers
A change to the tax structure where writers pay taxes on commissions paid to agents and managers
The return of Fin-Syn
The breakup of Big Tech