For the first time in 15 years, writers for motion pictures and television pressed forward with an expensive industry-wide boycott. After talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents Hollywood studios, fell through, the Writers Guild of America, which stands for 11,500 television writers and screenwriters, disclosed late Monday that the walkout would start early Tuesday, with protesting commencing in the afternoon. It is the first strike since 2007 in the history of Hollywood.
Why a Public Fiasco?
Every three years, the East and West divisions of the Writers Guild of America renegotiate a new agreement with the major Hollywood studios on behalf of 11,500 TV and film writers. The discussions this time were clearly anticipated to be complicated.
Even though the television industry has grown immensely in the past few years, writers are still not being compensated in the new streaming economy. The most significant concern is how authors are compensated in the new streaming financial benefits, as numerous authors have claimed a decrease in income as digital platforms have disrupted conventional television and film companies.
Catastrophe of a Strike
If the writers are not compensated for their determined hard work anytime soon, your favorite TV shows will be the first to vanish from the screens. There won’t be any late nights with Jimmy one or two, nor will you get to see your favorite celebrity stars on the screen conveniently.
Writers Guild representatives have responded that currently, the system is broken, and the survival of writers as entertainers and professionals would be at stake if this fiasco changes into a proper strike. Nevertheless, there is a massive gap between the demands of the writers and the settlement offer of the Guild.
Fair Settlement or Injustice?
The writers guild claims that what they are offering to the writers as compensation is entirely fair, and they should take the offer. According to them, it is a very generous increase in the wages of professional writers who tirelessly work day and night to keep the light on the screens of televisions and prevent it from going dark all at once. Moreover, the Guild has claimed that the writers’ union has an immovable stance on this whole problem as they won’t budge, and that is devaluing the profession of writing as a whole.
Effect on Television
As much as we enjoy watching movies and TV shows and relaxing with a yummy snack in hand, if the writers officially go on strike, our television screens will go dark- no more new episodes of our favorite shows, only reruns. Not only this, but it will take a long series of events and negotiations to fix what has been ruined as it is a long chain system of operations. Moreover, most film and production businesses operate on an annual contract basis, and with all the writers going on strike, it seems like next year won’t be as much happening and exciting in terms of entertainment.
A strike carries a hugely profound impact in terms of business and financial implications. Statistically, these strikes are not routine, and we have not witnessed much of this in the past years, from 2007-2008. If a screenwriter is still being paid the same salary as in 2018, it is incredibly unfair on the account American Writers Guild to keep writers from what they truly deserve. It doesn’t matter if this public humiliation and drama will take effect swiftly or in a prolonged period, but it sure will have a lasting impact on the television and media industry, given that an industry-wide walkout is not something to be taken for granted.