Is the Writer’s Strike Ending?Aug 11
Is the Writer’s Strike Finally Ending?
The Writers Guild of America has been on strike since the start of May, and good lord are people in Hollywood ready for this thing to end. Throughout the strike, emotions have been complicated and tensions frought. Five days a week hundreds of writers line up outside of Hollywood studios, picketing for a higher wage, more residuals, and regulations against AI. Their cause was emboldened and their numbers improved when they were joined on the lines by the Screen Actor’s Guild, whose strike began in July.
Meanwhile the studios have been in seemingly no rush to handle the situation. Bolstered by billion dollar Summer films like Barbie and Oppenheimer, and with full slates ready to get them through 2023, studios believe they have the funds and content needed to wait the writers and actors out, at least for a while. As a result of that, things have been at somewhat of a standstill since May. Whild hundreds of articles, rallies, and online threads have populated news around the situation, in terms of actual negotiating there has been a whole lotta nothing.
Until now! Sorta! After a 101 day hiatus, the WGA reps are finally ready to sit down with the studios and streamers to attempt to sort out a deal. Following a casual “exploratory” meeting last week, formal negotiations will resume on August 11th. Unfortunately for just about everyone, there isn’t a whole lot of optimism that these negotiations will be resolved quickly.
Following the “casual” meeting last week, the writers again blasted the studio, calling their suggestions “insulting and out of touch.” That in itself wasn’t a huge surprise, as we’ve known the writers and studios have been pretty much worlds apart since the beginning of the strike. To put it simply, writers want some very major concessions from studios, and the studios don’t seem too likely to budge. While it’s of course a positive to see negotiations resume Friday, in all likelihood it is just the beginning of a very long series of meetings that could easily flip either way. It’s always possible the sides are so far apart that negotiations deteriorate and meetings stop again. In which case just about everyone is screwed.
In the meantime the Hollywood-hiatus continues. Major productions like Deadpool 3 and the new season of Stranger Things are at a standstill, and it’s looking increasingly likely 2024 will be a very dry year for film and television releases. So while the studios may have some leverage for now, fans and consumers may become a little less satisfied once the calendar flips.