Thousands of Hollywood writers are putting down their pens and shutting down their laptops today as they join the picket line in a major labor action. This comes after their union was unable to reach agreements with movie and TV studios to secure higher wages.
The Writers Guild of America, representing about 11,500 Hollywood writers, decided to strike Tuesday following six weeks of failed labor negotiations with Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Discovery-Warner, NBC Universal, Paramount, and Sony.
“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,” WGA wrote in a press release.
“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,” the union continued.
WGA has been advocating for better pay and adjustments to a business model they argue has made earning a living wage more challenging over the last several years. According to the union, soaring content creation by streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+ has led to a drop in the median pay for producers and writers.
The last time WGA went on strike was in November 2007, causing a bottleneck in Hollywood’s content production process. The labor dispute lasted for 100 days, finally ending in early 2008.
One immediate disruption will be the production of late-night talk shows, including Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Depending on how long the work stoppage last, this could impact television shows and movies.
The labor action might not be a terrible thing considering an increasing number of Americans are fed up with ‘woke’ content pushed by Hollywood elites. This was evident last year when a series of films, books, and other media projects with progressive messaging failed to resonate with audiences and consumers.
WGA also called for the regulation of artificial intelligence within scriptwriting.
The WGA’s proposal to regulate use of material produced using artificial intelligence or similar technologies ensures the Companies can’t use AI to undermine writers’ working standards including compensation, residuals, separated rights and credits. #WGAStrong
— Writers Guild of America, East (@WGAEast) March 22, 2023
During a recent interview on “NBC Nightly News,” Raphael Bob-Waksberg, the creator of Netflix’s animated series “BoJack Horseman,” said writers’ demands are clear and concise:
“We want more money. We want enough money to make a basic living doing what we love.”
“I think we’re getting to the point where it’s going to be that the only people who can afford to try to start a career in television or movies are going to be people who are independently wealthy already, which I don’t think is good for television or movies. I don’t think we want that.”
Recall we penned a recent note titled “Get Woke, Go Broke: Hollywood Is Dying And They Deserve It.”
Tue, 05/02/2023 – 20:25