Writers Strike: WGA Calls for Work Stoppage Against Studios
The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers could not reach an agreement by May 1.
The 2023 writers’ strike will begin soon.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) is calling for a strike against the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) after the two sides failed to agree on a new minimum bargaining agreement that expires tonight, May 1st. The strike will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, May 2, the guild announced. it beeps.
The guild “unanimously” rejected AMPTP’s final proposal before the deadline, and the board unanimously voted to strike under a proposal the guild says is tantamount to turning writing into a “gigaeconomy.”
“While we negotiated with the intent of a fair deal—and while your strike vote allowed us to make some profit—the studios’ responses our suggestions they were completely inadequate given the existential crisis facing the writers. The companies’ behavior created a tremendous economy within the unionized workforce, and their unwavering stance during the negotiation revealed their commitment to further devaluing the writing profession,” the guild said in a statement. statement Monday. “From denying any level of weekly employment in episodic television, to the creation of a ‘daily wage’ in comedy variety, to the elimination of free labor for screenwriters and the artificial intelligence of all writers, they have closed the door on labor and opened the door to writing as completely before the freelance profession. This membership could never think of such an arrangement.”
The guild added in its tweet that they will take to the streets on Tuesday afternoon. The writers are scheduled to meet Wednesday at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, hosted by the WGA.
AMPTP said in a statement that talks ended “without agreement” late on Monday and that the sticking points were “mandatory headcount” and “length of employment” which it said were “propositions by the union that require the company to take on an employee up. with a certain number of writers for a certain period of time, whether it is needed or not.”
“AMPTP submitted a comprehensive package proposal to the Guild last night, which included a generous increase in writers’ compensation and improvements to streaming residuals. AMPTP also indicated to the WGA that it was willing to improve on this proposal, but declined to do so because the Guild remains committed to other proposals still on the table,” the studio said in a statement to IndieWire. . “AMPTP member companies remain united in their commitment to an agreement that is mutually beneficial to writers and the health and longevity of the industry, and to avoid hardship for the thousands of employees who depend on the industry for their livelihoods. The AMPTP is willing to engage in discussions with the WGA to break this impasse.”
“This is what every writer knows: Corporations have broken this deal,” the WGA continued in a statement. “They took so much from the people, the writers, who made them rich. But what they cannot take from us is each other, our solidarity, our mutual commitment to saving ourselves and this profession. We hoped to do this through reasonable conversation. Now we will do it through fighting. For the sake of our present and future, we had no other choice.”
The WGA’s more than 11,500 members will immediately stop writing, developing, presenting or selling screenplays, and writers will notify their agents to return all spec scripts and stop negotiating on their behalf. Last week, the guild released the a long list of detailed rules about what writers can’t do during a strike and how to inform the guild of any strike-breaking activity.
Starting Thursday, the studios made bids for the new MBA, and the guild countered, meeting all weekend until the May 1 deadline. But the two sides have been estranged since negotiations began in late March, and a writers’ strike seemed inevitable across the city for weeks. The strike call comes after 97.78 percent of eligible voting members approved the union’s strike, an all-time record for turnout and support.
Writers have been demanding a living wage and believe the streaming boom has devalued their work. The guild continued to fight for more consistent residual payments and a revised formula for calculating residuals when it comes to streaming, regulations on the practice of so-called “mini rooms” and rules on what content studios can use from AI-generated material. sources. Studios, meanwhile, are in the midst of layoffs, consolidation and stagnant growth in content spending as they realize the need to make their streaming services profitable, not just chasing subscribers. The studios will soon begin negotiations with the other major Hollywood unions, the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), whose contracts expire on June 30. Also, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters made it clear. that its members will not cross patrols.
The writers’ strike was avoided at the last moment in 2017, but the last time the writers went on strike was in 2007, the work stoppage lasted for 100 days and lasted until February 2008. The city is effectively shut down, TV seasons are delayed or cut short, and reports estimate that Hollywood’s economy has lost $2.1 billion as a result.
While it’s unclear today how long a strike could last, with more viewing options, conditions are not the same as they were in 2007, and studios are more prepared than ever if a strike needs to be extended.
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