Writers Guild On Strike For The First Time In 15 Years

writers guild of america on strike

The Writers Guild of America has announced that its members will be going on strike—signalling the union’s first action in the last fifteen years.

Starting on the afternoon of May 2nd, the WGA union will begin its work stoppage, which will mark the first time the prolific writers union has taken action this extreme since 2008, when a 100-day work stoppage caused mayhem in the industry. The Writers Guild of America said in a statement that it “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 main issues up for debate that the Writers Guild of America is fighting for include a guaranteed number of weeks of employment for TV writers, protections against AI-based writing in WGA-covered work, and minimizing work with no pay. The current three-year contract between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers expired at midnight last night.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers has released its own statement, stating that it “presented a comprehensive package proposal, which included generous increases in compensation.” Hollywood is arguing that “mandatory staffing” and the “duration of employment” for writers are where the arguments are occurring, whereas the WGA is also finding issues with the streaming model landscape letting residuals dry up as shows and movies sit on streaming platforms indefinitely.

The last time the WGA went on strike in 2008, it caused a ripple effect across the industry that led to live and late-night shows stopping for that period of time—which allowed the rise of reality TV. Many TV shows and movies will be affected this time around as well, with The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon all set to be shut down immediately.

Several other shows will also be impacted, which rely on up-to-the-minute writing, with the potential for film and television delays beyond the daily grind depending on how long this strike lasts.

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