Median author pay has fallen in final decade, WGA report says

Median writer pay has fallen in last decade, WGA report says

The Writers Guild of America has launched information displaying how streaming has depressed Hollywood writers’ pay during the last decade.

The union discovered half of all TV collection writers had been paid the essential minimal charge below the union’s contract. That’s up from 33% in 2013-14.

The share of showrunners working on the contract minimal is 24%, up 22 proportion factors from a decade in the past.

And the median weekly pay for writer-producers declined 23% over the interval when adjusting for inflation, the union stated.

“The businesses have used the transition to streaming to chop author pay and separate writing from manufacturing, worsening working situations for collection writers in any respect ranges,” the WGA stated in its report launched Tuesday. “On TV staffs, extra writers are working at minimal no matter expertise. And whereas collection budgets have soared over the previous decade, median writer-producer pay has fallen.”

The info paints a bleak image for TV and movie writers within the leisure trade because the union readies for contentious negotiations over a brand new contract to exchange one which expires Might 1. Talks between the Alliance of Movement Image & Tv Producers and the WGA begin on Monday.

The union hopes the info will bolster its argument in bargaining that writers deserve a lift in compensation as new applied sciences dramatically change how leisure is consumed.

“The businesses have leveraged the streaming transition to underpay writers, creating extra precarious, lower-paid fashions for writers’ work,” the union stated.

The WGA additionally analyzed the affect of streaming corporations’ follow of ordering shorter collection. Along with falling weekly play, most writers on streaming reveals are incomes much less per season due to the shorter work durations, it stated.

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Historically, broadcast networks ordered round 20 episodes that may be labored on over 10 months. More and more, studios targeted on streaming short-order collection with eight to 10 episodes.

Now decrease and mid-level writers on a streaming collection are inclined to work 20-24 weeks or solely 14 weeks if the writers room is began earlier than the present is greenlit.

Regardless of the shorter seasons, showrunners are usually nonetheless working the identical time period they did in broadcast TV, which the WGA stated mirrored the true size of time required to finish a collection. Over 40% of showrunners on streaming reveals reported working over a 12 months on their most up-to-date season.

In 2017, the union addressed the issue of the dilution of author pay by way of a follow often called span safety. This ensures that if a author works greater than 2.4 weeks per episode, then they need to be paid extra. The safety, nevertheless, remains to be topic to exceptions and caps. The union discovered 40% of extra senior writers (govt producers and showrunners) on quick collection had been left with out that safety.

Moreover, the WGA discovered that writers working within the comedy-variety style for streaming companies should not have the identical safety of minimal pay afforded to most dwell motion TV and movie writers.

Screenwriter compensation additionally has stagnated for 4 years as studios have launched fewer movies and field workplace attendance has confronted long-term declines. When accounting for inflation, screenwriter pay declined 14% within the final 5 years, the report stated.

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The collapse of DVD gross sales prompted studios to deal with huge price range franchise movies, which led to a despair in employment for screenwriters from 2008 to 2015, the WGA stated, including that there’s extra uncertainty over contracts for movie writers.

Screenwriters incomes lower than $150,000 for a primary draft of a script labored 50% longer than these incomes extra, illustrating how newer writers had been topic to producer calls for without spending a dime work, in line with the report.

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