Photos: Getty Images; Illustration: Variety The Met Gala may have been the last glitzy event to avoid picket signs. As of 12:01 a.m. on May 2, members of the creative community on both coasts (and production hubs in between) have traded the finery of that event for fire and brimstone on picket lines. The breakdown of the Writers Guild of America’s contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers has unleashed a torrent of emotion not seen among Hollywood union members since the last time the WGA went on strike, in 2007. The strike promises to bring even more upheaval to a marketplace that is already grappling with the fallout from technological disruption and still rebuilding from the pandemic. Six weeks of tense negotiations made it clear that the industry faces a reckoning after a decade of the Peak TV content boom that has strained Hollywood’s creative infrastructure to its breaking point. “People strike for a reason,” actor Brian Tyree Henry said as he made his way inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue for the gala. “I hope they get what they deserve, and I hope that people listen to them.” A prolonged walkout by TV and film writers will have ripple effects across the entertainment community. Now that the strike has been called, industry insiders are scrambling to shut down shows — late-night comedy programs, including “Saturday Night Live,” and daytime talk shows are the first to feel the hit. Studios are initiating emergency contingency plans to keep film production rolling on projects with completed scripts. The major networks are worried about pickets crashing upfront advertising presentations scheduled to be held in New York this month. Marketers and publicity mavens are trying to figure out how to salvage junkets and Emmy FYC season as a bumper crop of eligible programs have all manner of screenings and events lined up in the pursuit of viewers. Now, the workaday stuff of Hollywood will take a back seat to the spectacle of WGA versus Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros. Discovery, NBCUniversal, Paramount Global, Amazon, Apple, Sony […]

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