The Writers Guild of America (WGA) called for its first work stoppage in almost 15 years, after failing to reach an agreement with mainstream studios for higher pay. In a statement on its website, the WGA claimed that the studios’ behaviour had created a gig economy within a union workforce and betrayed a commitment to further devaluing the profession of writing.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents Walt Disney Co, Netflix Inc, and others, claimed that it had offered “generous increases in compensation” during negotiations with the WGA. However, producers were “unwilling to do so because of the magnitude of other proposals still on the table that the Guild continues to insist upon.” Late-night talk shows, including Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, are expected to air re-runs, meaning that new episodes will not be available.
While Netflix can run its service with shows produced outside the States, the US-based projects will be affected if the strike continues. However, news programs and unscripted reality shows, such as Big Brother and The Bachelor, will not be impacted, as they are handled by different writers. Fortunately, movies hitting theaters will not be affected immediately, as it takes two to three years for a project to be produced.