On Tuesday, the union declared a strike, marking the first time in 15 years that writers and Hollywood have gone on strike. The union represents over 11,000 writers for various types of entertainment including film and television.
The Writers Guild of America has made a decision after failed negotiations with production companies over compensation and other issues, including the use of artificial intelligence in scripts. The “Washington Post” newspaper has reported that this decision could result in the shutdown of Hollywood studios and networks and cause disruptions in late-night television.
According to the Washington Post, the writers outside 10 major studios in Los Angeles and the Peacock Newfront started a strike on Tuesday afternoon, which will begin on Wednesday at Netflix’s Manhattan headquarters in New York. This is the industry’s first strike since 2007.
The union claims that despite the rise in soap opera budgets, the book’s portion of the funds has decreased, as reported by the Associated Press.
The union also adds that using streaming services for smaller employees, known in the industry as “microrooms”, for shorter periods made sustainable income more difficult, according to the agency.
In the past decade, there has been an increase in the proportion of writers working for the union’s minimum wage from about one-third to about half. The union has pointed out that comedy writers have no minimum protection at all.
According to a report released by the union in March, TV crews are hiring more writers for minimum wages, regardless of their experience, and these wages are not keeping up with the cost of living due to inflation.
According to the Washington Post, the union tweeted before declaring the strike that the production companies and studios’ responses had been entirely inadequate in light of the writers’ existential crisis.
After six weeks of negotiations with “Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Discovery Warner, NBC Universal, Paramount and Sony”, the union announced that it would go on strike.
On Monday night’s Met Gala, the Writers’ Union strike announcement caused a disturbance. Despite the event typically centering around the luxurious outfits of Hollywood’s elite, numerous celebrities showed their backing for the union while strolling the red carpet.
According to the newspaper, if the strike lasts several months, as it did 15 years ago, it could cause problems for the broadcast of fall TV shows and create a backlog of films and content that are scheduled to be released in the future.