The union representing 11,500 writers of film, television and other entertainment forms are now on strike. It’s the first writers’ strike — and the first Hollywood strike of any kind — in 15 years.
WHY ARE THE WRITERS STRIKING?
Streaming and its ripple effects are at the center of the dispute. The guild says that even as series budgets have increased, writers’ share of that money has consistently shrunk.
Photo: AP 照片：美聯社
Streaming services’ use of smaller staffs — known in the industry as “mini rooms” — for shorter stints has made sustained income harder to come by, the guild says. And the number of writers working at guild minimums has gone from about a third to about half in the past decade.
“On TV staffs, more writers are working at minimum regardless of experience, often for fewer weeks,” the guild said in a March report.
The lack of a regular seasonal calendar in streaming has depressed pay further, the report says. And scheduled annual pay bumps under the current contract have fallen well short of increases in inflation.
Photo: AP 照片：美聯社
WHAT SHOWS WILL BE AFFECTED FIRST?
Late-night talk shows, heavily dependent on same-day, current-events-based comedy writing, were the first to feel the strike’s effect. The shows have been the de facto frontline during previous writers strikes. NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” ABC’s “ Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and CBS’s “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” all went immediately into hiatus and will air reruns. James Corden’s Thursday night farewell to his “Late Late Show” was well-timed.
“Saturday Night Live,” nearly as dependent on last-minute writing, has already axed this week’s episode with host Pete Davidson. The final two episodes in the season that follow it are in serious jeopardy.
Photo: AP 照片：美聯社
Forthcoming awards shows are keeping plans in place for now, but those could easily fall apart.
HOW WILL THE STRIKE AFFECT SCRIPTED SERIES AND MOVIES?
The strike’s impact on scripted series could take far longer to manifest. Noticeable effects on the movie release calendar could take even longer.
Depending on their media consumption methods, many viewers and moviegoers may not notice the effects of a strike until long after it’s over, if at all. The menus on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video will look no different next week, but because this would be the first writers’ strike of the streaming era, there is no template for how they will look months down the line.
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