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The Writer's Strike is Over - What Happens Now?

Georgia Hoseman, Grade 11, Staff Writer


After 148 days of striking, the first Hollywood strike since 2007 officially ended on September 27th. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) ratified their agreement on October 9th with 99% of the members voting in favor. 

Let's rewind a little. On Tuesday, May 2nd WGA East and West began striking, though talk of the strike had been in the air since early April. On April 17th, the 11,000 members of WGA voted overwhelmingly in favor of authorizing a strike, with about 98% of the votes supporting the decision. A deadline of May 1st was then set for a new contract, and when ignored, the strike officially began. 

With the convenience of streaming services and an influx of new shows, one might assume writers would be doing well, right? Actually, it's quite the opposite. As viewership and budgets increased, writers' pay has plateaued and in some cases, declined (with inflation factored in).

WGA advocated for streaming residuals, protection against the threat of AI, fair employment time and size, and overall higher wages. 

While Hollywood halted, some productions kept running for varying reasons. Talk shows such as the Drew Barrymore Show decided to continue, but most eventually went off the air due to intense pushback. On the other hand, multiple shows and studios resumed operations by meeting the demands set by the WGA. Notably, independent studio A24 was allowed to continue its ongoing film productions.

While many executives resisted these demands, including Disney CEO Robert Iger who called them unrealistic, an agreement has been reached. On September 24th, it was announced that a deal was in the works, outlining crucial components: minimum compensation, increased pensions and health insurance, higher streaming royalties, transparency with viewership, a minimum wage raise of 3.5 - 5%, the writers' choice to implement AI, and more. On October 9th, voting officially wrapped up.


While this is a significant victory for the writers, it does not mean a return to pre-strike production. The actors, represented by the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), continue their strike. There is no doubt that the entertainment industry will face challenges until their return. However, this breakthrough will likely make it easier for the actors' strike to come to an end. 

The impact of the strike has been substantial. Deborah Meyers, Senior Vice President of Program Planning and Scheduling for Showtime Networks and mom of Mollie Kuritzky (Grade 11), said “It has completely stopped or slowed down production… now that it’s over, people have to wrap up again but there’s going to be a long period of time where there's not going to be new productions.”

She commented that networks and streaming services will need to find ways to keep viewers and subscribers. It has also heavily affected the California economy with an estimated loss of two to five billion dollars. Related industries such as restaurants, caterers, set builders, and dry cleaners have also suffered due to the strike. 

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