Over 11,000 Hollywood writers protest over fair pay in streaming era

Over 11,000 writers who make TV shows and movies have stopped working because they're not happy with their pay and how they're treated

Over 11,000 Hollywood writers who make TV shows and movies have stopped working because they’re not happy with their pay and how they’re treated. This is the first time they’ve done this in 15 years. The problem started because they couldn’t agree with the big companies in Hollywood that make the shows and movies.

These writers were talking to big companies like Discovery-Warner, NBC Universal, Paramount, Sony, Netflix, Amazon, Apple, and Disney. They all work together under a group called the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

This strike could cause problems for TV shows and movies if it goes on for a long time. But it was expected because there has been a lot of arguing for a while. Last month, the writers voted to go on strike, and almost everyone agreed with it (98%).

The Protest of the Hollywood Writers

Over 11,000 Hollywood writers protest over fair pay in streaming era

In the past, these strikes by writers have been long. In 1988, one lasted 153 days, and the last one in 2007 went on for 100 days.

You might notice the strike on late-night TV shows like “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” These shows will stop making new episodes for now.

In 2007, during the last strike, the late-night hosts had to come up with their own jokes and stories because the writers weren’t working. Some of them did it, but it made the union leaders upset.

The writers will be protesting outside certain places on Tuesday.

The Writers Guild of America, which has people from both the West and East sides, all agreed to go on strike. They say that writers are facing a big problem.

The guild told its members, “Even though we tried to make a fair deal, the companies didn’t offer enough. They are making it hard for writers to have stable jobs, and they don’t value writing as a profession.”

One of the problems the writers have is that they don’t get paid enough for their work on streaming services like Netflix. They want more money and a way to get extra money when lots of people watch their shows on streaming.

They also want rules that make sure writers get hired for TV shows and have a guaranteed number of weeks to work. The big companies say these are the main problems in the talks.

The big companies did offer to pay the writers more, but it was less than what the writers wanted. They also said no to the idea of giving writers extra money based on how many people watch their shows on streaming.

Streaming has made more TV shows and movies, which means more work for writers. But the writers say they’re getting paid less and working in worse conditions. Writers on streaming shows get much less money than writers on regular TV shows.

In the past, writers used to get paid more when their shows were shown again or sold to other countries. But with streaming, that doesn’t happen as much. More writers are only getting the minimum amount of money, and they have to work in smaller groups.

The writers’ union says that writers need more flexibility when they work on shorter series.

At the same time, the big companies are under pressure to make money with their streaming services. They are trying to spend less money, which is causing problems like job cuts and less spending on shows.

The End of Protest

Over 11,000 Hollywood writers protest over fair pay in streaming era

After more than four and a half months of striking, the writers in Hollywood have reached a tentative agreement with the major studios represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. This announcement comes following intense negotiations over several marathon sessions in Los Angeles during the week.

The specific details of the agreement have not been disclosed yet and are subject to ratification by the approximately 11,000 members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA). The WGA’s negotiating committee expressed their pride in the deal, highlighting that it includes substantial benefits and protections for writers across different sectors within the membership. However, they emphasized that the final contract language needs to be worked out before they can provide the full details.


Notably, key figures like Disney CEO Bob Iger and Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos were involved in the negotiations, along with other studio heads. The AMPTP presented its latest proposal to the WGA after discussions on Saturday, and further meetings occurred on Sunday, culminating in the final agreement.

Leadership votes to review the agreement were tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, with the details set to be shared with the members, followed by a comprehensive vote. The strike cannot be officially ended until it is approved by the leadership.

The WGA negotiating team emphasized that members should not return to work until authorized by the Guild, signaling that the strike suspension marks a significant step forward.

With the WGA strike’s potential resolution, attention may now shift toward resuming talks with the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). Approximately 65,000 actors in SAG-AFTRA joined the WGA on picket lines in mid-July, causing a significant halt in scripted production in Hollywood.

This strike by both writers and actors simultaneously was unprecedented since 1960 and has had a substantial impact on California’s economy. The film and television industry accounts for over 700,000 jobs and nearly $70 billion in annual wages in the state.

Common issues for both unions have included advocating for increased residual payments from streaming services and addressing the use of artificial intelligence in the industry.

The writers’ strike began on May 2, making it the first strike for the WGA since 2007. At 146 days, it ranks as the second-longest strike in WGA history, trailing only the 1988 strike, which lasted 154 days.

Throughout this process, the WGA has argued that the rise of the streaming model has negatively impacted middle-class writers, leading to inconsistent work and threatening their livelihoods. Writers’ rooms have seen cuts, and “mini-rooms” have become more common due to shorter seasons, making it challenging for writers to maintain year-round employment.

In their push for higher residual payments, the WGA also sought greater transparency in streaming viewership data.

The AMPTP, in response to claims that television writing had become “gig” work, argued that most television writers received guaranteed weeks or episodes when hired, often received producing credits, and enjoyed substantial fringe benefits, including pension contributions and healthcare, which were superior to what many full-time employees receive over a year.

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