Netflix to pay $42 million in writer compensation dispute

Netflix will have to pay huge sums in the fight over writer deadline Report, the Writers Guild of America won an arbitration award that will require Netflix to pay 216 drama and film writers an additional $42 million in unpaid balances. The WGA is also seeking another $13.5 million in late payment interest.

WGA accuses Netflix of “self-dealing” that helped it save writers’ pay. According to the association, the remainder of a theatrical release should be paid based on revenue earned in a given market, while licensing requirements like Netflix (which is both a producer and distributor) require fees based on a more traditional relationship — a Sony movies licensed to Netflix, eg. However, Netflix reportedly struck a deal with the Directors Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild of America (SAG-AFTRA) to allow it to pay the remainder of the cost of its own films at “significantly lower” prices than the films cost.

The victory was aided by an earlier victory over the Sandra Bullock film bird box, the WGA claims. An arbitrator found that Netflix grossly underestimated a screenwriter using a formula in a recent dispute. The referee told Netflix to pay the author $1.2 million in residuals and interest.

We’ve reached out to Netflix for comment. However, the WGA is not shy about its criticism. It described Netflix as one of the “worst violators” of the Guild Residuals basic agreement, and saw the arbitration as a pushback against media companies trying to “drive down” payments through streaming services. Don’t be surprised if there are more battles like this across the industry.

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