By: Alexis Moten
Right when it seemed like everyone was getting into sports this year (i.e Adele shouting out her loyalty to the Cleveland Browns; The celeb studded Wimbledon 2023 match) the Hollywood writers and studios come to a close after a 150-day labor strike.
But what does this all mean? Why did it happen in the first place? And how does this reshape the future of media? Here are the fast facts about the WGA’s strike, start to finish(-ish).
- May 2: After ongoing disputes over how writers should be compensated in the streaming era, leaders of the Writers Guild of America called on their members to stage Hollywood’s first strike in 15 years.
- June 6: NYC film permit request drop down 31%
- June 24: Teamsters create $2MIL fund to help members affected by WGA strike
- July 14: SAG-AFTRA protests alongside the WGA.
- August 4: LA mayor, Karen Bass, calls for end of strike to avoid economic fallout
- August 9: 100 days on strike
- September 10: Barrymore Scabs (see below)
- September 27: WGA announced that union leaders “voted unanimously to lift the restraining order and end the strike.”
- The picket line. What they won: A 5% min pay increase. A 4% bump in May 2024 + another 3.5% in May 2025. Deal expires May 2026.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)- Writers were able to gain protection from the use of AI. AI will not be used to write or rewrite literary materials. In addition, AI written material will not be considered as source material. RIP to the Chat GPT generated scripts. You will not be missed.
THINGS TO WATCH
- SAG-AFTRA, the actors remain on strike. The timeline for TV and Film production will inevitably be delayed.
- On September 10, actress/ talkshow host Drew Barrymore announced via social media that her show would be returning, despite the strikes. It didn’t go over well for her. In Evan Ross Katz Substack newsletter, SHUT UP EVAN, declared that Barrymore, went from “protect her at all costs” to public enemy number one. From what we’ve seen the public is fickle. We’re interested to see how production recovers.
- For future writers in America, a new path has been provided. Time will tell if these efforts will widen the opportunity for a new wave of innovation and storytelling in Hollywood.