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Hollywood Film and TV Writers Launch Rare Strike: ‘Dreams Must Pay for Life’ | Film Industry

Hollywood productions came to a halt after thousands of film and television writers went on strike after last-minute wage negotiations with major studios broke down.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) pitted 11,500 screenwriters against conservative companies such as Universal, Paramount, and Walt Disney, as well as tech newcomers, until they failed to reach an agreement on a pay rise. Declared suspension for the first time in a year. Netflix, Amazon, Apple, etc.

The last industrial action, in 2007, lasted 100 days and caused an estimated $2.1 billion in damage to the California economy as productions were halted and striking writers, actors and producers cut spending.

WGA Said The corporate action “created a gig economy” aimed at turning writing into a “fully freelance” profession. “For our present and future, we have no other choice.

and Deadline interviewWGA West president Meredith Steem said the writers were facing an “existential crisis”.

“We have been talking to them here for six weeks and their core proposals have been literally ignored. I made it clear to them that I was asking them to fight for something different.

Members of the WGA began picketing outside studios in Hollywood and in New York on Tuesday.by the afternoon Los Angelesa writer in a blue WGA T-shirt was out on the street.

“Fist up, pen down! LA is Uniontown!” the writers chant as they march outside Amazon Studios in Culver City. Cars passing by one after another honked their horns for support as they passed.

Chant-leading Jonterri Gadson moved to Los Angeles in 2019 to pursue her goals of becoming a comedy writer, and created a show featuring Chris Rock, Kelly Clarkson, Amy Poehler, and Nick Offerman. I have been working on

“It’s a dream, and I hope that dream pays me a comfortable wage,” Gudson said.

Members of the Writers Guild of America protest in Los Angeles. Photo: Aude Guerrucci/Reuters

Among the more than 150 people who marched outside the Amazon was Erica L Johnson, a Hollywood assistant during the long-running writers strike in 2007.

This time, “I hope it’s short. There’s no way of knowing,” Johnson said. “No one wants it to last long, but we are ready to do what we have to do.”

Johnson said he was particularly concerned about the proliferation of “mini-rooms,” small writers’ rooms dedicated to working on scripts before shows go into production.

Many memorable writers used Guild signs to make jokes and movie references.

Some focused on writers’ concerns about the use of AI in the industry: “Alexa will never replace us!” One sign was promised. Several signs riffed on the same theme: “Hey Studio: We have some notes!”

Writing can be a solitary task, Gadson said, which made her appreciate the energy of the picket line. Nice to know,” she said.

of new yorkGreg Iwinski, a writer with credits on the show by Stephen Colbert and John Oliver, said the WGA was criticized because the streaming service tried to pull writers away from what they knew best: how to connect with their audience. A strike was needed.

“There’s a lot of accumulated wisdom in television and Hollywood that has been efficient and profitable over the years,” he said. “Streamers would come in and stress-test how much effort it would take to create entertainment, trying to keep artists out of their own success and employment.”

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents the studios, said late Monday it had offered the writers “generous compensation increases” but the two sides were unable to reach an agreement.

Producers were prepared to increase proposals for higher wages and balance money, but “due to the size of other proposals still on the table, such as the requirement for companies to hire a certain number of writers, they were unable to do so.” I don’t want to,” he said. A certain period of the show, “whether it’s necessary or not.”

The writers have said they suffered financially during the TV streaming boom, partly due to shorter seasons and lower remaining payments. According to WGA statistics, half of all TV series writers are now working at minimum wage levels, compared to a third of him in 2013-14. Average wages for higher writer/producer levels have fallen 4% over the past decade.

For viewers, the strike’s most immediate impact is felt on late-night talk shows and sketch shows. Using a team of top late-night shows to come up with topical jokes all quickly went dark. to come up with their content.

Saturday Night Live, which was supposed to air a new episode on Saturday, has also gone dark and will be reruns instead.

“Everyone, including myself, wants both sides to come to an agreement. But I don’t think the writers’ demands are unreasonable,” host Stephen Colbert said on The Late Show Monday.

“We owe this country to unions,” said Colbert. “We have weekends because of the union, and he has TGI Fridays.”

Monday Night Met Gala at Fallon he said he wanted to see a fair deal Agree with the writer. “We really need writers. Without writers, there would be no show,” he said.

image of people protesting
The Writers Guild of America (WGA), which represents most of Hollywood’s scribes, has come together in New York City to officially strike for the first time in 15 years. Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Additionally, the strike could lead to the postponement of the fall TV season, which normally begins writing in May or June. If the strike continues, networks will increasingly fill up their programming line-ups with unscripted reality shows, news magazines and reruns.

Media companies are facing tough economic times. Conglomerates are under pressure from Wall Street to make their streaming services profitable after spending billions on programming to attract subscribers.Netlix market value last year $45 billion drop After forecasting a decline in new subscribers.

On the other hand, the rise of streaming is reducing traditional TV audiences and reducing TV advertising revenue as advertisers move elsewhere.

The WGA also seeks safeguards to prevent studios from using AI to generate new scripts from a writer’s previous work, requiring writers to rewrite draft scripts created by AI. I would like to avoid it.

Other entertainment industry unions, including actors’ union SAG-AFTRA and Director Guild of America, which are expected to negotiate with AMPTP in the near future, endorsementIn the UK, the British Writers Guild (WGGB) advised members not to work For projects under WGA jurisdiction during the strike period.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2023/may/02/thousands-of-hollywood-film-and-tv-writers-to-go-on-strike Hollywood Film and TV Writers Launch Rare Strike: ‘Dreams Must Pay for Life’ | Film Industry

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