WGA Writers Go On A Strike, Halting TV Show Productions

As of the morning of 2nd May 2023, more than 11,000 writers are on strike, which resulted in multiple T.V. and movie productions coming to a halt and delaying the new seasons of some of the shows’ favorites among the audience. It was revealed that the Writers Guild of America (WGA) had been planning for this strike for a while due to the failed negotiations between them and the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP).  

And what this means is that late-night TV shows will be the first to see the impact because they rely on the writers for real-time scriptwriting. However, streaming services from Netflix to Disney Plus already have many series and movies available at their disposal, so we can see new content from them for quite some time.

A similar incident happened 15 years ago. The last strike by the writers, which took place in the year 2007, left a mark on the entertainment industry by costing roughly 2.1 billion dollars since the strike lasted for over 100 days.

Writers on a Strike
Members of the Writers Guild of America standing in a picket line in the year 2007 (Credits: CNN)

What made the writers of WGA go on strike?

The Writers Guild of America is a representative union of the U.S. TV shows and movie writers, whereas the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers is an association representing over 350 American television and movie production companies. The writers of the guild had been trying to generate a new contract between them and the AMPTP for weeks, but after many failed negotiations, they were forced to make the decision to go on a strike to demonstrate their seriousness about the situation.  

According to Adam Conover, the showrunner of the show “Adam Ruins Everything“, the proposals sent by the writers for the new contract are to protect their livelihood and maintain a steady income. They are demanding higher wages, better benefits as well as more creative control over their work. The studios and streamers are trying to cut down their costs on the scripting department by pushing them to work on freelance gigs from their homes instead of proper in-office jobs.

This is causing the writers to make less money as they are being employed for less time. Just like any other worker, they too are fighting for a stable life, said Conover. According to the polls, 98% of the writers were in favor of the strike.

He added, “The writers’ room is where the writers get together and break a story and write scripts. The companies are trying to eliminate it, make the room smaller, and employ us on a freelance basis, and rather us stay home and email in the script, and we cannot make a living that way. We want a writer’s room on every show, and that is a sticking point. We want to make sure that the writers are paid the same on streaming as television.”

Also Read: 50 Best Shows Like Riverdale You Can Stream On Netflix, Prime Videos, Apple TV & Disney Plus.

Which shows will be affected by the strike?

Since the late-night talk shows are the first to be affected by the writers’ strike, NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night With Seth Meyers, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! and CBS’s Late Show With Stephen Colbert will all stop airing new episodes and air reruns until the issue is resolved. Both Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers had addressed the possibility of a strike on their shows before the actual one took place and expressed their gratitude and support for the writers.

Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert from late night shows
Anti-clockwise from top left- Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, and Stephen Colbert on Late Night Shows (Credits: The Hollywood Reporter)

Other shows like “House of the Dragon,” “Stranger Things,” “Cobra Kai,” etc. have also been halted in between. It seems like soap operas will be the next ones to be affected. Though streaming platforms like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, etc., won’t be facing issues for quite some time.

The strike has also had a ripple effect on the wider industry since many producers and actors have expressed their support to the striking writers, with some even refusing to work on projects that are not coinciding with the demands of the Writers Guild of America.

Despite the delays in the production, the writers are determined not to compromise on their demands as the future of their profession is at stake. However, the AMPTP has shown no signs of giving up. The real question that now arises is whether they will be able to resolve this conflict and find common ground.

Also Read: 30 Best Late Night Shows That Became Iconic

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