Guide to the Writers Strike feature image

Guide to the Writers Strike

This pivotal moment is all about championing fair pay and better working conditions for the people who dream up our favorite movies and shows. Use this guide to better understand the who's involved and what's at stake.

Key Players

WGA Feature Image

WGA

The Writers’ Guild of America is the union for the people who write scripts for movies, TV shows, and other media.

WGAW | WGAE

SAG-AFTRA Feature Image

SAG-AFTRA

The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists is the union for actors and other media professionals.

SAG-AFTRA

DGA Feature Image

DGA

The Directors Guild of America is the union for directors and their teams.

DGA

AMPTP Feature Image

AMPTP

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers represents the big film and TV production companies.

AMPTP


Key Issues

Streaming Media Residuals

In the world of writing, income comes from two sources: an initial payment for their work, and residuals - small profit shares from the sale or airing of their creations. But with the rise of ad-free, on-demand streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+, these residuals are drying up. This change hits hard for writers, who often rely on these funds during their off-months between projects.

Check out Vox's great video on this.


Artificial Intelligence

AI advancements are shaking up global job markets, particularly in content creation. As studios aim to boost profits, writers are on guard against potential misuse of these technologies. Imagine a studio taking a human-written screenplay, running it through an AI for a rewrite, and then claiming no residuals are due because the 'original' text no longer exists. It's a brave new world, and writers are fighting to ensure their rights aren't left in the dust.

Here's a great breakdown from CNBC.


Timeline

November 7, 2022

The WGA announces the members of its negotiating committee, with David Young as chief negotiator. The Wrap

February 28, 2023

Ellen Stutzman took over as the chief negotiator of the WGA. LA Times

April 18, 2023

97.85% of members of the WGA vote to go on strike if they failed to reach a deal with the AMPTP. Variety

May 1, 2023

The Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA), which covered most of the work done by WGA writers, expires. Deadline

May 2, 2023

The WGA goes on strike over an ongoing labor dispute with the AMPTP. THR

May 10, 2023

WGA announces that $1.7 million has been pledged to the Entertainment Community Fund to help struggling entertainment professionals. The Wrap

June 3, 2023

DGA reaches deal with AMPTP. The decision is divisive among the other guilds. Deadline

June 9, 2023

Lionsgate suspends BMF producer Ian Woolf following an altercation with striking writers. THR

July 11, 2023

Dealine reports that AMPTP plans to let strike persist until strikers are forced to relent. Deadline

July 13, 2023

SAG-AFTRA issues strike order to begin at midnight. IndieWire

July 27, 2023

The 75th Primetime Emmys are postponed. No new date has been announced. Variety

Autust 1, 2023

AMPTP and WGA set meeting for Friday, August 4 to resume negotiation talks. Variety

August 4, 2023

AMPTP and the WGA failed to reach an agreement. The strike continues. Deadline

September 9, 2023

Paramount announces return of the Drew Barrymore show amid strike. Paramount

September 17, 2023

The Drew Barrymore show will no longer return amid strike. Hollywood Reporter

September 24, 2023

WGA and AMPTP reach agreement to end the strike. Variety

September 27, 2023

The strike ends 12:01am. Variety


Read the Agreement

The WGA and AMPTP reached a deal with big wins in residuals, staffing, and AI. Get a summary of the deal and read the official contract.



Support the Storytellers

The Entertainment Community Fund provides financial aid and resources to those affected by work stoppages, including the writers and actors strike. Your donation can help keep the creativity flowing even in tough times.

Written by Matt Lathrom
Hero image by Nick Renaud
Aug 1, 2023