Arts & Culture

The Writers’ Strike and How It’s Affecting the Entertainment Industry

Have you wondered why television channels are not playing a new episode of your favorite show? The recent writers’ strike is the reason behind this. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) is currently on strike in California and New York. Thousands of WGA writers have been out on picket lines, chanting and waving signs outside studios. Citizens are standing in unity with the writers and have even blocked production sets.

The strike began after six weeks of negotiations between the WGA and the trade group Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). Thousands of writers say they are not paid fairly in this era of streaming. Many people in the entertainment industry are getting paid far less in residuals. Residuals are profits paid to people who worked on a piece of media when it gets re-aired, resold, or re-packaged. People in the entertainment industry rely on the residuals for financial security, and streaming services have eliminated that sense for many. Streaming services pay fixed residuals that do not include the number of viewers, and there’s no additional payment that comes when shows move between different streaming services. Writers are also fighting against the use of AI and “mini-rooms” (a term for a writer’s rooms with fewer writers contracted for shorter periods). The WGA proposed regulating the use of AI in writer’s rooms to prevent AI from writing or changing material. The AMPTP suggested an “annual meeting to discuss advances in technology.” 

The strike has halted the production of many broadcast programs and streaming shows. “There’ll be a lot of reruns. There won’t be as much content,” said Oliver Mayer, a former member of the WGA. Late-night shows were the first to be impacted by the strike. Shows such as “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” are at a complete standstill. Production on some returning shows, such as “Stranger Things,” is also paused. So, what does that mean for viewers? Mayer said he expects networks and studios to have stored projects, especially when the possibility of a strike overpowered the industry. Viewers might see new shows and movies premiering that finished months before their release.

Categories: Arts & Culture

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