Hollywood Writers on Strike! What to Know About the 2023 Writer’s Strike

WGA on Strike. Writer's Strike
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After weeks of negotiation, the WGA has officially started the 2023 Writer’s Strike, shutting down production of many film and television productions. Due to an inability to reach an agreement between the Writers Guild of America and the major Hollywood studios, the WGA has officially gone on strike in order to earn fair wages after an attack by studios against their livelihoods. While many people online are concerned about the disruptions to their favorite shows and movies, the WGA putting these on hold is the only way to pressure studios into a fair deal.


Why a Writer’s Strike?

15 years ago, the last writer’s strike happened due to writers needing to fight for payments on digital distribution, and this strike is happening for many of the same reasons. The streaming era ushered in made-for-streaming movies, which writers are paid drastically less for despite being the same level of effort as theatrical films. In addition, the streaming age’s new 8-12 episode seasons have led to less work for writers, as well as new “mini-rooms” that employ many fewer writers than shows would previously. Finally, across the entire industry, a significant number of writers are being paid at minimum (which is the minimum wage in the screenwriting industry), with minimum now not being enough to live on due to an inability for it to match inflation cost increases.

Ten Years Ago, 33% of TV Writers Were Paid Minimum. Now Half Work At Minimum.


Contrary to what many may here, the WGA is not happy or excited to be on strike. Thousands of writers are putting their livelihoods in jeopardy by going unpaid for months in order to fight together to make it possible for writers to afford to live while working on your favorite shows. The vast majority of Hollywood television writers have trouble paying for groceries despite working on beloved, famous shows.

Median Weekly Writer-Producer Pay Has Declined 4% over the last decade. Adjusting for inflation the decline is 23%.

The WGA writers have been forced to go on strike because of a complete unwillingness from the studios to give them a living wage. The studios, in negotiations, refused to agree to minimum staffing of writer’s rooms, greater residuals for streaming of television shows in foreign countries, greater residuals in streaming features, or to agree not to replace writers using automation. In short, nearly every major thing the WGA was fighting for was refused without a counter by the studios. Because of this, there was no choice other than to have a writer’s strike.


Why You Should Support the Writer’s Strike

Before you or anyone else complains about a lack of your favorite shows, just remember, without the gains made from this strike, writers would not be able to afford to work on writing your favorite shows regardless. At this point, your choices are to either support the WGA and maybe have your shows back in a few months, or fight against them and live in a world where writers cannot afford to work on your shows ever. Supporting the WGA is not hard. It doesn’t require donations, just publicly voice support for your favorite writers and spend a few months watching the many amazing shows and movies that already exist. Without pressure from the public to return to work, the WGA can fight for fair wages to the fullest. Writers have helped you for years by writing your favorite shows. Now is the time for you to help them.

For more information about the strike, go to wgacontract2023.org.



Written by Donovan R

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