Hollywood film and television writers are set to embark on strike if their demands aren’t met during contract negotiations with the industry’s largest production companies.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA), the union representing television and film writers, could begin the industrial action on Tuesday if a deal can’t be reached with the likes of Walt Disney and Netflix.
According to a report by Reuters, the writers are demanding pay increases and changes to industry practices that they say force them to work more for less money.
The WGA also argued that have suffered financially during the streaming TV boom.
The guild said the effect of the strike will be that writers can’t meet, negotiate with or work for a struck company.
“Half of TV series writers now work at minimum salary levels, compared with one-third in the 2013-14 season, according to Guild statistics. Median pay for scribes at the higher writer/producer level has fallen 4% over the last decade,” the report added.
“Artificial intelligence is another issue at the bargaining table. The WGA wants safeguards to prevent studios from using AI to generate new scripts from writers’ previous work. Writers also want to ensure they are not asked to rewrite draft scripts created by AI.”
The WGA is negotiating with the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers, which represents Amazon, Apple, CBS, Disney, NBC Universal, Netflix, Paramount Global, Sony, and Warner Bros. Discovery.
The WGA’s proposal to regulate use of material produced using artificial intelligence or similar technologies ensures the Companies can’t use AI to undermine writers’ working standards including compensation, residuals, separated rights and credits. #WGAStrong 🧵1/7
— Writers Guild of America West (@WGAWest) March 22, 2023
Last month, members of the guild voted 98% in favor of going on strike if no new deal is reached by midnight of Monday.
It is understood that if the strike happens, it would be the first of its kind in 15 years. The last WGA strike in 2007 and 2008 lasted 100 days.
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