Home » Blog » Writers Guild of America Calls for Strike

Writers Guild of America Calls for Strike

The Screenwriter’s Association of America, which represents Hollywood’s scriptwriters in negotiations, has declared a strike following unsuccessful discussions with prominent studios that didn’t result in a satisfactory agreement this week.

A statement from WGA:

The decision was made following six weeks of negotiations with Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Discovery-Warner, NBC Universal, Paramount and Sony under the umbrella of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The WGA Negotiating Committee began this process intent on making a fair deal, but the studios’ responses have been wholly insufficient given the existential crisis writers are facing.

The companies’ behavior has created a gig economy inside a union workforce, and their immovable stance in this negotiation has betrayed a commitment to further devaluing the profession of writing. From their refusal to guarantee any level of weekly employment in episodic television, to the creation of a “day rate” in comedy variety, to their stonewalling on free work for screenwriters and on AI for all writers, they have closed the door on their labor force and opened the door to writing as an entirely freelance profession. No such deal could ever be contemplated by this membership.

In reference to the strike, the Association of Film and TV Producers (AMPTP), commonly known as the studios, released a statement:

“Negotiations between the AMPTP and the WGA concluded without an agreement today. The AMPTP presented a comprehensive package proposal to the Guild last night which included generous increases in compensation for writers as well as improvements in streaming residuals. The AMPTP also indicated to the WGA that it is prepared to improve that offer, but was unwilling to do so because of the magnitude of other proposals still on the table that the Guild continues to insist upon. The primary sticking points are ‘mandatory staffing,’ and ‘duration of employment’ — Guild proposals that would require a company to staff a show with a certain number of writers for a specified period of time, whether needed or not.”

Production came to a standstill on Tuesday for numerous late-night programs, such as CBS’s Late Show featuring Stephen Colbert, ABC’s evening show with Jimmy Kimmel, NBC’s Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, and Late Night hosted by Seth Meyers. These shows will resort to airing reruns throughout a strike that has the potential to persist for a number of weeks. (A similar writers’ strike 15 years prior spanned 100 days, from November 2007 until February 2008.) Additionally, HBO hit the pause button on the weekly series Real Time starring Bill Maher and Last Week Tonight presented by John Oliver.

The duration of the strike remains uncertain, but during its course, significant segments of Hollywood will experience a standstill. Around 12,000 writers may participate in protests in the following days, resulting in substantial disturbances to television and streaming series as the workforce and administration engage in the conflict.

It’s improbable that Disney will experience an immediate effect, as films and shows are often finalized years ahead of time, providing an ample backlog to rely on. Disney has also been preparing for this possibility by accelerating the completion of numerous scripts before the strike commenced. Nonetheless, the extent of the impact will depend on the duration of the work stoppage.

Leave a Comment