There’s nothing more relaxing than coming home after a long day of work, changing into your comfy clothes, and putting on your favorite TV show or an action-packed superhero flick. However, none of that could be possible without the writers who work day and night to produce scripts that keep us hooked throughout, many of which belong to the Writers Guild of America.
The Writers Guild of America is a union that represents those who write scripts for many projects, be it a TV show, a news program, documentaries, movies, and so on. The union includes thousands and thousands of members, and therefore it goes without saying that if they go on a strike, things will turn into a nightmare for Hollywood. Well, the strike might become a reality soon as the Writers Guild of America plans on calling a strike if their needs are not met.
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The Writers Guild of America Could Call a Strike
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The last time the Writers Guild of America went on strike was 2007 which lasted for a little over three months and history is on the verge of repeating itself. On April 11, the WGA started a strike authorization vote. This means that if the WGA is unable to reach a middle ground with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) by May 01, the leadership of the union could call a strike.
If the WGA does go on strike, things would go south for many major studios. Those who will face the wrath of the strike are Amazon, Apple, Disney, Paramount Global, Netflix, CBS, NBC Universal, Sony, and Warner Bros. Discovery. So basically, almost every large studio in the entertainment industry.
Late-night talk shows would be among the first to fall victim to the strike as their episodes are usually produced one day before they air on television. NBC’s Saturday Night Live will also be affected as it has three episodes which are scheduled for May. Apart from this, movies set to release in 2024 or 2025 will also be affected by the strike. This means that the upcoming Marvel and DCU films could also face some obstacles.
However, there is also a chance that a strike never comes to fruition. Back in 2017, writers voted to authorize a strike but it was ultimately called off as negotiations resulted in an agreement.
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Why the WGA Is Going on a Strike?
In a report, the WGA states that due to the rise of streaming platforms, the writers are being underpaid. While the shows released on TV usually have more than twenty episodes per season, those released on streaming sites have a lower number and writers often get paid per episode.
The report reads,
“Writers are not keeping up. The companies have leveraged the streaming transition to underpay writers, creating more precarious, lower-paid models for writers’ work.”
A WGA member and writer for Abbott Elementary, Brittani Nichols, stated that the “viability of television as a career” was at stake and that “a lot of people are struggling to string together quality jobs that can allow them to exist in a city like Los Angeles.”
Nichols also added that it is not as if the Studios are unable to afford a good wage for the writers, however, they simply do not care.
“It’s not that the studios can’t afford these things. It’s, in my opinion, that they don’t care about what’s right or fair and they want to extract as much value from us for the least amount of money as possible, and that’s something we’re standing up to.”
The WGA is looking for better pay, an increase in pension and health funds for the workers, and to put an end to mini rooms, once and for all. Mini rooms are basically very small spaces where showrunners and a group of writers are made to develop scripts. While we cannot say with 100% surety if the WGA will go on strike or not, one thing we can say is that it’s about time writers get a more healthy work environment.
Source: Writers Guild of America