It’s tough for a screenwriter in Hollywood, not only do you get the short end of the stick, but you get a lot of the blame too when a project doesn’t work out. Writers are the dish towl of entertainment industry, they do all the dirty work but receive none of the credit, usually.
That in part is why the WGA a union, which according to their annual membership report of 2014, is comprised of rougly a twenty thousand working writers in Hollywood are threatening to go on strike.
For those unfamiliar to this news, on Tuesday, April 18, 20107 the members of the Writers Guild of America will come together to vote on whether they are going on strike.
Why are they going on strike you ask? Well to quote Bruce Wayne in “Batman Begins”, it’s all a bit technical. See writers, spefically tv writers, feel as though the aren’t given the proper pay or treatment for their work. TV Wrtiers, most of the time when hired to work on a show, say Big Bang Theory are locked into a writers contract, meaning in most cases they can only write spefically for that show and not seek other employment.
Many fear that because in most cases they aren’t getting the reseduals back from syndication or reruns for their shows, that they aren’t being provided with enough income and thus think going on strike would be the best course of action until their needs are met.
What does this mean for Hollywood? Well awhile back in 2007, a similar strike took place, over a similar reason, back then it was for writers to get more than 11cents from DVD sales and standard workers comp.
This of course through Hollywood for a loop and because a lot of hired writers are registered with the WGA they were unable to write. Tv shows like “Pushing Daises”, “The 4400”, “Bionic Woman”, and the Disney Channel hit “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” were all cancelled largely because of the strike, and shows like “30 Rock”, “The Big Bang Theroy”, “Family Guy”, “Heroes” and others had to have short seasons and halt production because most their staff were unable to write for them.
In additon, because of such a great deal of late night show writers were union memebers shows like “The Daily Show”, “The Colbert Report”, “Saturday Night Live”, and “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” began airing reruns.
Movies like “Quantum of Solace”, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”, and “Terminator Salvation” were heavily affected by the strike. In most cases film production will turn to non union writers to come in and work on the existing drafts and try to map out with producers the next steps, results of this varied.
This time around for 2018 the shows that are in danger of total shut down are Soap Operas, Network televisons shows and recently picked up pilots or shows going into production on their next seasons, shows like “Jessica Jones”, “Star Trek Discovery” and even “American Horror Story”.
The new CW hit show “‘Riverdale”, has already began working on the their next season to get ahead of the strike.
No word on how this will affect big budget studios films that the big brands have on the docket. Films like Ben Afflecks solo Batman film, Ezra Miller’s Flash solo film have already had major script troubles and this was before the strike so one can only imagine how this will affect them. Assuming the writers the studio hired are with the WGA and not independent contractors.