Reprinted from Deadline Hollywood by David Robb on April 2, 2017.
The WGA has released a trove of data to support its bargaining position that writers are not sharing the record profits reaped by the major companies over the last decade. The union also released figures showing that its health plan is in dire condition – facing more than $145 million in projected deficits over the next four years, leaving the plan basically broke and with less than two months of reserves by the end of 2020.
“The entertainment business is thriving because of the content WGA members create,” the WGA West states on its website. “This content has fueled the global growth of the media companies and the meteoric rise of online video distribution. The companies which control this content have reaped the rewards many times over. Writers deserve a fair share of this unprecedented prosperity.”
“The entertainment industry has never been more profitable,” the guild says. “As illustrated in the chart below, in 2016 the six major media companies that dominate film and television, and employ almost all Guild writers (CBS, Comcast, Disney, Fox, Time Warner, and Viacom), reported almost $51 billion in operating profits. Those profits have doubled in the last decade and continue to grow. …