ATLANTA — The Writers Guild of America officially called a strike and it went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, May 2.
The WGA made the announcement on its website Monday night. WGA said its negotiations with the studios and streamers failed to reach an agreement.
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The unanimous call to strike comes after a six-week negotiation with Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Discovery-Warner, NBC Universal, Paramount, and Sony. WGA said the companies’ business practices “slashed” their compensation and “undermined” their working conditions.
So, what does this mean for the future of shows and movies?
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Many of your favorite shows and films will be put on pause. This may also cause a significant impact on Georgia’s economy. Last year, 412 productions were filmed in Georgia, including movies, television shows, and commercials.
Now, it is official, WGA is on strike. WGA said picketing will begin Tuesday afternoon.
The last writers’ strike came in 2007, before the rise of streaming services.
WGA posted a full statement on its website that reads as follows:
We have not reached an agreement with the studios and streamers. We will be on strike after the contract expires at midnight.
Your WGA Negotiating Committee spent the last six weeks negotiating with Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Discovery-Warner, NBC Universal, Paramount and Sony under the umbrella of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
Over the course of the negotiation, we explained how the companies' business practices have slashed our compensation and residuals and undermined our working conditions. Our chief negotiator, as well as writers on the committee, made clear to the studios’ labor representatives that we are determined to achieve a new contract with fair pay that reflects the value of our contribution to company success and includes protections to ensure that writing survives as a sustainable profession. We advocated on behalf of members across all sectors: features, episodic television, and comedy-variety and other non-prime-time programs, by giving them facts, concrete examples, and reasonable solutions. Guild members demonstrated collective resolve and support of the agenda with a 97.85% strike authorization.
Though we negotiated intent on making a fair deal—and though your strike vote gave us the leverage to make some gains—the studios’ responses to our proposals have been wholly insufficient, given the existential crisis writers are facing. The companies’ behavior has created a gig economy inside a union workforce, and their immovable stance in this negotiation has betrayed a commitment to further devaluing the profession of writing. From their refusal to guarantee any level of weekly employment in episodic television, to the creation of a “day rate” in comedy variety, to their stonewalling on free work for screenwriters and on AI for all writers, they have closed the door on their labor force and opened the door to writing as an entirely freelance profession. No such deal could ever be contemplated by this membership.— Writer's Guild of America statement on WGA website
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