The Hollywood Writers Strike is generating a lot of buzz these days. This incident has occurred for the first time in 15 years. The Writers Guild of America, the union that speaks for the industry, declared the strike on May 2, 2023, and it came into effect on the same day.
According to the Guild’s notice, the writers have been told to terminate their writing services immediately. The strike is being supported by many prominent personalities, including Seth Meyers (Late Night With Seth Meyers), Jimmy Fallon (Tonight Show), and many others.
Why are the Hollywood Writers on a Strike?
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the trade association for all the writers, has been engaging in failed negotiations with several studios: Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, NBC Universal, Paramount Plus, and Sony. But none of these negotiations could bear any fruit. What is the main reason behind the Hollywood Writers Strike? What are their main demands? Let us dig deep into this whole fiasco.
Last year, 8 Hollywood CEOs made nearly $800 million, yet pay for TV writers has fallen by 23 percent over the last 10 years. I stand with the nearly 12,000 @WGAWest writers on strike for a fair contract.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 2, 2023
If you are looking for a short and simple answer, then the reason behind the Hollywood Writers Strike is money. The writers are demanding fair compensation for their gruelling labour. The system has changed now. Earlier, the writers would receive two types of payments: the fee for writing the script and then payments in the form of residuals. Whenever the show would be repeated on TV, the writer would receive some residual. But with streaming, this system has diminished. The writers are not getting any residuals.
Also, the streaming giants haven’t been offering fair compensation to the writers. HBO Max is particularly known for offering low compensation to the writers. Sometimes the streamers remove the show without providing any prior information to the writer. Furthermore, the streamers demand only shorter episodes and impose other conditions on the writers. Thus, all these events led to the Hollywood Writers Strike.
When Will the Strike End?
There is no confirmed date for the ending of the Hollywood Writers Strike. The strike just began a few days back so we expect it to last for many more days. The writers had been waiting to strike a negotiation with the major studios for weeks but failed. So it is likely that this strike will drag on for an indefinite period of time.
The last strike that happened during 2007-8 continued for 100+ days. The longest strike by writers was in 1988 and continued for almost five months. The strike has put the future of shows like Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, The Tonight Show etc at risk.
Very silly that Hollywood thinks it can outlast a Writers Guild strike when Zelda comes out next week
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) May 2, 2023
At the time of writing this article, two demands from the writers had been accepted. Streamers have agreed to hire Guild writers at a fair rate. The digital distribution concept has also been accepted by many streamers. The writers are now eligible to receive a certain share of the show’s success.
How will it affect viewers?
For now, there won’t be much impact. The studios keep scripts ready for future episodes in order to deal with any unexpected situations. Most shows already have the scripts for several episodes ready. But chat shows can be immediately affected due to this strike since they don’t have a bank of episodes ready.
Viewers will hope that the strike doesn’t continue for too long. If this happens, then many shows can suffer delays and might be halted until the strike ends. Keep following Hiptoro to know all the latest updates about the Hollywood Writers Strike.