By Susie Dumond Aug 8, 2023
On Thursday, short of a surprising announcement, the Writers Guild of America’s strike will reach its 100th day. That’s over three months that screenwriters have spent picketing the major studios for fair pay, improved working conditions, regulations on use of artificial intelligence (AI), and more.
The writer’s strike, combined with the SAG-AFTRA actors strike, has brought the vast majority of TV and film projects to a halt. “Who cares?” I hear some of you curmudgeonly readers saying. “I don’t need TV and movies. I’ve got books.” Actually, there’s more at stake in this strike than when fall TV shows will return. Below is a guide to the strike for book lovers, including why it might impact publishing and authors, and information on how to support the striking writers.
The Basics of the WGA Strike
After weeks of unfruitful negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) on the Minimum Basic Agreement for writers, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) declared a strike on May 2, 2023. WGA members and non-members are instructed to cease any and all writing projects with member studios of the AMPTP, including powerhouse producers like Sony, Universal, Paramount, Disney, and Warner Bros., as well as any other studios that participate in the Minimum Basic Agreement.
As the strike approaches the 100-day mark, no clear progress has been made on finding agreeable terms. Representatives of the WGA negotiating committee met with AMPTP president Carol Lombardini on Friday, August 4, in a confidential sidebar to discuss resuming negotiations. Before the meeting even occurred, however, the WGA sent a message to its members about the AMPTP’s “calculated misinformation” about the meeting.