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Monday, March 4, 2024

Recreational Strikes and Solidarity – Southerners


On May 1, the Writers Guild of America formally called for a strike after contract talks with studios and anchors failed to come to an agreement.In the weeks since, strikers have been picketing along both coasts with signs reading “Do Write thing”, “I got ChatGPT to write a picket sign and it failed”, etc. It’s been a long time coming: 15 years have passed since the last WGA strike was sanctioned, and writers are getting worse. In a formal strike announcement, the WGA negotiating committee said: “During the negotiations, we explained how the company’s business practices cut our pay and salvage value, and undermined our working conditions. Writers are proving to these companies that their work is critical to the running of Hollywood, that their work cannot be replaced by artificial intelligence, and that they deserve to be paid and compensated fairly. Many stars and A-list writers expressed their support, while others remained Silence. The strike will affect the production and development of movies, TV shows, and late-night TV. Now, with members of the Screen Actors Union preparing to vote on a strike and directors union negotiations underway, with contracts set to expire in June, Hollywood faces a possible of bankruptcy.

The news sparked a certain amount of outrage across the internet, with many fans disappointed that their favorite show would face a delay.Popular series such as Severance pay, the last of us, strange thingsand andorra All discontinued.other programs, namely Dragon House (this game of Thrones The prequel series) continued filming during the strike as their scripts for the episodes were finalized. But once a screenplay is submitted, the writer’s job isn’t done. Script changes are usually made on the fly during filming, and the screenwriter is usually on hand to authorize those changes. A week ago, the DGA (Directors Guild) directed dual members of both guilds to make minor changes to the script, which violated the WGA’s strike guidelines. This may indicate a lack of unity among the creatives, but some dual members said they disagreed with the directive. “Me and a few other dual DGA/WGA members have decided we’re not going to take this advice,” wrote writer-director Boots Riley on Twitter. “[Avoiding that work] It is an act of solidarity that will make the strike go faster. A gesture of solidarity among DGA members is important not only because it shows a united front for artists, but also because directors have far more power in their productions than screenwriters.

The last writers’ strike took place in 2007 and lasted 100 days. A big part of that strike was about compensation for “new media” (content published or distributed over the Internet). Now, with streaming content more or less dominating the entertainment landscape, writers are getting paid even less than before. The WGA claims that the remaining share of the Alliance of Film and Television Producers (AMPTP) has lowered the average earnings of most screenwriters compared to 10 years ago. Before streaming dominated television, writers could make money from a show’s premiere, as well as reruns. When the last Minimum Base Agreement (MBA) negotiations established minimum salaries for TV and film writers in 2020, the agreement only applied to writers for broadcast TV shows like late-night TV. That means writers working on streaming shows have to negotiate compensation individually with companies, resulting in much lower salaries due to the lack of an industry-wide policy or regulation around streaming compensation. This is a contract that expires in early May. The WGA’s new proposal could bring in about $429 million a year for writers, while the AMPTP’s proposal would bring in just $86 million. That’s far from unreasonable, since the strike has already cost Hollywood an estimated $840 million, and it still stands. Another change the WGA proposed to the contract would have each member of the writing team receive their own pension and health care funds. This was rejected outright, with no counter-proposal.all of this actually necessary Let a worker have a livable and stable job.

While companies will always find ways to pay their employees less than they deserve, film and TV writers are generally devalued as well. Streaming helped create the idea that everything made for entertainment could be clearly labeled “content.” This removes any notion of artistry from the work, and the creators of such works merely become “content creators.” This makes it easy for companies to justify the conditions they put on writers because audiences no longer see their work as legitimate. As a result, some viewers have come to feel entitled, that they deserve the “content” they love without caring about the livelihood of the creators who make it possible. This attitude tells studios and streamers that they can get away with not properly compensating artists. If you care about your favorite TV and movie franchises, you should be rooting for the writers, not mocking them. If other guilds are going to join the WGA strike, it’s important to acknowledge and support this, because workers get what they deserve, rather than complaining online because your favorite TV show has been delayed.


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