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The award-winning student news site of Olympic Heights High School

The Torch

The award-winning student news site of Olympic Heights High School

The Torch

The Strike That Changed the Entertainment Industry Forever

The+Strike+That+Changed+the+Entertainment+Industry+Forever

The writer’s strikes began on May 2, 2023.  With this strike, it brought forward the terrible treatment the writers receive in the entertainment industry. The walkout caused disruption to the production and release of numerous films, TV shows, and other forms of entertainment. Over 97.85% of writers voted to strike. 

Over the weeks, writers were standing out in California and New York streets, chanting outside studios with signs. These signs have slogans like “Can’t Netflix And Chill When Writers Have Bills” and “What Would Larry David Do?” 

“Writers Guild of America (WGA), the labor union to which most working writers in Hollywood belong, will stop working until the WGA reaches an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP),” Alissa Wilkinson, film and culture author for Vox, stated. 

For years writers have been voicing their opinions on the unfair pay they receive. As far back as 2007, writers have been causing uproar in the industry trying to receive residuals for their work. Writers believed that “these residuals can make up a healthy part of a working scriptwriter’s income,” Nate Anderson, deputy editor of Ars Technica, expressed. The 2007 strike ended with the WGA ensuring that anything distributed online was covered by the guild’s Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA), guaranteeing the lowest amount members could be paid for their work.

This year has been the first writer’s strike since 2007. With the strike being in effect, writers were not the only group to be affected. “All of the other people who work in the entertainment business — electricians, caterers, set dressers, directors, background actors — have to find other work,”  Alissa Wilkinson stated. Over the past 15 years, more and more writers are doing work that pays worse and is less secure.

With this strike, no writers were permitted to write any new scripts for TV shows or movies until the WGA membership voted to end the strike. In addition, no writer would get paid until they decide to return to normal condition. Grace Deeb, Olympic Heights Junior, stated, “If they are risking their pay, you know this situation is important.”

The biggest reason writers are fighting for residuals is because of streaming services. “To ensure that working on a streaming service pays out in a manner closer to traditional TV, and closer to the way previous generations of writers, directors, and actors fought for years to achieve,” Eric Thurm of GQ stated.

When asked what the WGA association had to say about it, President Carol Lombardini told The Hollywood Reporter, “Writers are lucky to have term employment.”

For the first time in over 43 years, Hollywood actors will go on strike in support of the writers after the SAG AFTRA announced its approval of a walkout on July 14, 2023. Since the approval, actors have been showing their support by protesting and posting on social media.  Jimmy Fallon said he “wouldn’t have a show if it wasn’t for my writers, and I support them all the way.” Other actors like Jack Black, Lin-Maneul Miranda, America Ferrera, and more have been out protesting with writers for better wages. 

On September 27, 2023, the writers strike came to an end. The MGA summary states, “The MOA includes increases to minimum wage and compensation, increased pension and health fund rates, improvements to terms for length of employment and size of writing teams, and better residuals, including foreign streaming residuals.” The actors still remain on strike and are working towards an agreement.

 

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    auryanna floresNov 7, 2023 at 11:45 am

    good to see people come together to fight for something they want.

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