Hollywood strike: Screenwriters will walk out for first time in 15 years

Hollywood strike: Screenwriters will walk out for first time in 15 years

By Paul Glynn Entertainment reporter Thousands of Hollywood TV and movie screenwriters will strike on Tuesday, after last minute talks with major studios over wages broke down. A Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, the first in 15 years, will see more than 9,000 writers – 98% of voting members – walk out from midnight. It is expected to affect Tuesday's late-night shows, while forthcoming shows and films could face delays. Picketing will begin on Tuesday afternoon, the Guild also said. In 2007, writers went on strike for 100 days, at a cost of around $2bn to the industry. This time around, writers are clashing with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) – which represents the major studios, including Disney and Netflix – in demand of higher pay and a greater share of the profits from the modern streaming boom. On Monday evening, the WGA said the decision was made after six weeks of negotiations produced a “wholly insufficient” response to “the existential crisis writers are facing”. Key issues in the talks have been how writers get paid for shows which often remain on streaming platforms for years, as well as the future impact of artificial intelligence on . ‘Sticking points' The WGA criticised studios for creating a “gig economy” that aims to turn writing into an “entirely freelance” profession. “For the sake of our present and our future, we have been given no other choice,' the guild stated in a lengthy document . It called for a TV staffing minimum, ranging from six to 12 writers per show, as well as a guaranteed minimum number of weeks of employment per season. In their own statement on Tuesday, the AMPTP called those the two “primary sticking points”. For their part, the collective studios previously said they must cut costs due to financial pressures, while noting how the overall “residuals” payments to writers hit an all-time high of $494m (£395m) in 2021. They noted on Monday they had been been willing to increase compensation and streaming residuals but for “the magnitude of other proposals still on the […]

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