As negotiations with the studio systems failed, the union of the Writers Guild of America declared a strike, which will impact future content.
Strap in, folks. The Writers Guild of America has declared that they have officially gone on strike against the Hollywood studios. This will mark the first time in 15 years that the writers have gone on strike. Deadline reports that the Guild’s negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers had fallen through when trying to reach an agreement on a new film and scripted TV contract.
The Writers Guild sent out a message to their members saying, “Though we negotiated intent on making a fair deal – and though your strike vote gave us the leverage to make some gains – the studios’ responses to our proposals have been wholly insufficient, given the existential crisis writers are facing. We must now exert the maximum leverage possible to get a fair contract by withholding our labor. Members of the Negotiating Committee, Board and Council will be out with you on the picket lines.”
Less than an hour after attempted talks with the studios ended and three hours before their current standing contract expired, the Guild would release a statement saying,
Following the unanimous recommendation of the WGA Negotiating Committee, the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) and the Council of the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), acting upon the authority granted to them by their memberships, have voted unanimously to call a strike, effective 12:01 AM, Tuesday, May 2.
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.
Picketing will begin tomorrow afternoon.”
Picketing are set to be held outside of Netflix’s Hollywood offices, CBS TV City near the Grove, and the other usual suspects of Disney, Universal, and more.
In the event of the last strike, popular network shows had cut their seasons short, as well as some being taken off the air entirely. Movies would become underwritten and half-baked. One of the most notable examples was Daniel Craig’s sophomore effort as James Bond, Quantum of Solace, where Craig revealed that in their desperation to churn out a story, Craig himself had to do some writing on the script, “And a writer, I am not,” he stated.
However, with streaming and the rise of non-scripted content, it’s, unfortunately, a whole new ballgame, especially when CEOs such as the now notorious David Zaslav at Warners made his name at Discovery with unscripted shows and the man’s already been at odds with his decisions on movies and TV.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/writers-guild-of-america-strike/