There are many questions: Here are a few things you should know.

On May 1, 2023, the Writer’s Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers failed to agree on a new contract. Immediately following, the WGA unanimously voted in favor of a strike, set to begin on Tuesday, May 2, 2023. This is the first Writer’s strike since 2008, and the sides are far apart on a new contract.

Negotiations between the WGA and the AMPTP broke down late last night as the sides are far apart on contract talks. Many key issues, including residuals from streaming, weekly pay for writers making less than 250% for the minimum on a feature, and health plans. May of these key issues the AMPTP didn’t make a counteroffer for, which impedes the traction that was gained in other parts of negotiations, such as an increased SPAN cap and an increased earning cap on options. A link released by the WGA can be found here: https://www.wga.org/uploadedfiles/members/member_info/contract-2023/WGA_proposals.pdf

Picketing signs were made over the weekend, as a potential strike loomed. Now WGA represented writers and any parties standing in solidarity with them are set to picket. According to Variety, the first two-week schedule of striking has been released, with the strike beginning at the Peacock New Front in New York City before spreading out to the following locations in both New York and Los Angeles:

∙Amazon, 9336 Washington Blvd., Culver City
∙Radford Studio Center, 4024 Radford Ave., Studio City
∙Television City, 7800 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles
∙Disney, 2300 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank
∙Fox, West Pico Boulevard and Motor Avenue, Los Angeles
∙Netflix, 1456 N. Van Ness Ave., Los Angeles
∙Paramount, 5433 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles
∙Sony, 4080 Overland Ave., Culver City
∙Universal, 3913 Lankershim Blvd., Los Angeles
∙Warner Bros. 3772 W. Olive Ave., Burbank

Series, including late-night shows like Jimmy Fallon, scripted movies and series that haven’t begun production will not be written, and anything in production can’t have any rewrites as the writers will not be present. Expect a lot of reruns, halted productions, and delayed films if the strike prolongs. Live shows such as news, sports, and finished productions will be unaffected by the trike.

The WGA has gained support from unions across the film medium, including SAG and the DGA, both of whom have expiring contracts, the Teamsters, and the IATSE. Though many won’t be able to picket with the WGA due to contractual obligations and fear of replacement, the support is monumental in deciding the future for creatives in an unstable atmosphere.

The WGA is asking for a better work environment and compensation for writers. The AMPTP wants an agreement in place. One side looks to benefit the people who create the shows that generate profit, but the other wants to run a cost-effective business. With a deal being so far away in talks, there is an unsettling atmosphere in film as a whole.

Leave a Comment