WGA Writers Go On Strike
Late Monday evening, Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) announced that negotiations with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) concluded without an agreement. Confused and exasperated in uproar, thousands of writers decided to go on strike in hopes of better pay and long-term benefits.
A writers’ walkout on Hollywood productions hasn’t occurred since the ’07-’08 Financial crisis. At that time, the rising streaming model appeared to the forefront and Hollywood had no option, but to adjust. Having a share of the revenue generated by content distribution and Internet viewership changed the game.
Writers’ Livelihood At Cost
Identically similar to now, current discussions support increasing compensation in all areas of media; for example, having higher residual shares and contributions pre to postproduction. The strike comes amid intense economic and technological upheaval in Hollywood. Leading reasons why are because of the dominant presence of streaming services and declining traditional broadcast viewership. Additionally, increased pension and health plan benefits could change the ‘gig economy’ culture and strengthen the overall protection for writers.
To go more in-depth, talks of going on strike lingered in the beginning of February. WGA members reported complaints of mini writers’ rooms and their treatment. Fans love the six to eight episode season content, which comes from the brilliance of mini writers’ rooms. Promptly after season runs, studios end the assignment of writers and look for other shows. If a show is lucrative in the long run, production companies wait a long time to commit and pay substantial earnings, which is a limbo to the livelihood of writers. Big productions want the heavy workload, yet will feed crumbs for contribution. The fair goal of writers, at the end of the day, is to have a piece of the success they create and have a stable life.
What Could Happen
WGA leaders sat at the bargaining table for two weeks in April hoping to fix core economic issues. Small moves are in play, but no signs addressed the problems following negotiation. Unfortunately, Saturday Night Live and shows like Abbott Elementary are likely to delay or have their season cut short.
At the Met Gala, Fallon said he hopes the strike does not go on too much longer, but at the same time wants to see “a fair deal” agreed for writers. “I need my writers real bad, I got no show without my writers,” he adds.
Featured Image by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters