It now looks like the Writer’s Guild of America (the people who write your favorite TV shows and movies) are going on strike as tomorrow. USA Today explains:
“Hollywood writers have left their keyboards behind.
At 12:01am Tuesday, the Writers Guild of America, the union representing most of Hollywood’s scribes behind your favorite TV shows and films, went on strike. The board of directors for the WGA, which includes both a West and an East branch, voted unanimously to strike after talks between the guild and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which bargains on behalf of the nine largest studios, failed to reach a contract. Writers, they said, are facing an “existential crisis.”
If it feels like a TV repeat, that’s because it’s all happened before. For 100 days in 2007 and 2008, writers went on strike, bringing the entertainment industry to a halt. Now those behind everything from network series like CBS’s “NCIS” to Marvel movies to streaming series including Netflix’s “Stranger Things” will hit the picket lines for the first time in 15 years.”
I don’t blame the writers a single bit for this. They are regularly screwed over when it comes to payment for movie and TV work and that screwing just got harder and even more lubeless with streaming. I would also not be surprised to see studios start to approach indie authors and other non-WGA writers to see if they’re willing to cross a picket line.
Needless to say, I wouldn’t do that. And I really could use the money right now. But the only way these larger entities, be they studios or corporations or what have you, will ever start paying people what they deserve is if those people band together with all their colleagues and stand as one. So donate to the WGA members if you can spare a couple of bucks and plan on finding something else to do if your favorite show goes dark during the strike—say, read a book.