Nearly a decade ago, the last writer’s strike shut down production of dozens of hit TV shows for months. Now another protest may be on the way.
Members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers is not reached before the current one expires on May 1. 96.3% of WGA members voted that they are willing to go on strike.
The strike will start on May 2 and will cause an immediate blackout of the late-night television. Depending on how long it lasts programming for TV shows could be delayed along with upcoming movie releases.
While WGA members have signaled that they are willing to go on strike, it is important to note that it is only an option and not official. There is still time for representatives to reach an agreement between the WGA and the organization representing Hollywood’s biggest studios and producers.
Talks between the two groups will begin on April 25 but, if things do go sour, the WGA can pull their 12,000 writers, who currently produce content for movies, TV shows, and other content, from working.
The disagreements between producers, studios, and writers stem from the fact that writers are paid per episode. But since more and more networks are ordering fewer episodes, writers are feeling as though they are not making as much money as before. Also, many writers sign exclusivity contracts that prohibit them from working on more than one TV show at a time. Ultimately, writers are pushing for either a larger pay per episode or getting rid of the exclusivity clause.