What is the 2023 Writers Guild of America strike? When is it expected to end?

The writers of the Writers Guild of America have huge demands. What is their strike for? Plus, when is their strike expected to end?

Astha Pasricha
Sep 26, 2023, 08:11 IST
What is the 2023 Writers Guild of America strike?
What is the 2023 Writers Guild of America strike?

The 2023 Writers Guild of America is the very first Hollywood strike since the year 2007. A tentative agreement has been reached by the union with the entertainment companies and has put an end to the five-month-long strike. Here is everything you need to know about the strike.


The reason behind the strike


The West and East sections of the Writers Guild of America represent a total of 11,500 writers of film and television to negotiate every three years a novel contract with the most significant Hollywood studio. However, this time these negotiations were hoped to be fraught.


Television production has seen a massive growth in the last 10 years. This is because media companies have made huge investments, as huge as billions into streaming services. However, the writers have stated that their compensation has seen a slowdown. The leaders of the W.G.A. are of the view that the system right now is broken. They say that “the survival of writing as a profession is at stake in this negotiation.”


The deal


In the upcoming days, the guild members are going to vote on whether they will accept the deal. The deal entails a majority of the demands of the writers from the studios. These demands include an increase in royalty payments. Along with that, the deal includes a guarantee that artificial intelligence is not going to encroach on the compensation and credits of writers.


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How are the movies going to be affected?

The movies are not going to get impacted much, thanks to the lengthy production times due to which film studios work over a year in advance.


How are shows on the television network going to get impacted?


In case the strike gets stretched, there might be a decline in the new TV series. However, this situation will not be apparent to the viewers until the very end of the year. International and reality shows are going to start playing in rotation, making such situations seamless.

However, the soap operas may run out of new episodes after 30 days or so.


The complaints of the writers


According to the writers, there were many issues that were of great importance to them in the negotiation. The most significant of these issues was compensation. Other issues were the impact of artificial intelligence on their work and credits.

The writers are also of the view that the streaming world has actually hampered their working situations. Most of the streaming shows contain 8- 12 episodes in one season, which is far less than the number in traditional television, which used to be 20 episodes.

Writers also demand enhanced residual pay. Additionally, another important issue that writers are fighting against is the "abuses" of the miniroom. There is no clear-cut definition of a mini room. However, it can be described as a tiny group of writers the studios hire before the show receives a green light. Since the mini room is not a formal writers' room, they are paid quite less by the studios.

Another problem these mini rooms face is that in some situations they are made to work for 10 weeks or even less, leaving them stranded and looking for work for the rest of the time.

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