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WGA Wins $42 Million “Self-Dealing” Arbitration Against Netflix

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The WGA said today that it has prevailed in a huge “self-dealing” arbitration against Netflix that it says will result in hundreds of writers on more than 100 Netflix theatrical films receiving an additional $42 million in unpaid residuals.

The WGA West and the WGA East say they now are pursuing about $13.5 million in interest that Netflix reportedly owes writers for late payment of these residuals.In a notification to their members, the guilds said that their victory stems from “an important arbitration over Netflix’s underpayment of the writer’s residuals for the theatrical motion picture Bird Box.

Netflix argued the WGA should accept a substandard formula the company negotiated with DGA and SAG-AFTRA. After a hearing, however, an arbitrator determined differently — that the license fee should have been greater than the gross budget of the film.

He ordered Netflix to pay the writer a total of $850,000 in residuals along with full interest of $350,000.”“As a direct result of this ruling,” the WGA added, “216 writers on 139 other Netflix theatrical films are receiving an additional $42 million in unpaid residuals.

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