Writers Guild of America Goes on Strike
The Writers Strike has begun! It was announced overnight that the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have failed to reach an agreement during contract talks.
“Negotiations between the AMPTP and the WGA concluded without an agreement today,” the AMPTP said in a statement, which was initially obtained by Variety. “The AMPTP presented a comprehensive package proposal to the Guild last night which included generous increases in compensation for writers as well as improvements in streaming residuals. The AMPTP also indicated to the WGA that it is prepared to improve that offer, but was unwilling to do so because of the magnitude of other proposals still on the table that the Guild continues to insist upon. The primary sticking points are ‘mandatory staffing,’ and ‘duration of employment’ — Guild proposals that would require a company to staff a show with a certain number of writers for a specified period of time, whether needed or not.”
The WGA union responded with their own statement: “The companies’ behavior has created a gig economy inside a union work force, and their immovable stance in this negotiation has betrayed a commitment to further devaluing the profession of writing.”
Their goal is for the writers to get pay increases and changes to a business model that they feel no longer works in the advent of streaming services. Writers are now separate from producers (they had previously worked together) and they claim that the new business model makes it hard to make a living.
The strike is expected to go into effect right away, with late night shows going dark and seasons of comedy and dramas possibly being cut short. Daytime TV will also be impacted by the strike.
This is a developing story.