Shouting “No contract, no script!”, thousands of writers took to the streets of Los Angeles and New York on the first day of the Writers Guild of America strike (WGA), which will keep the audiovisual industry paralyzed indefinitely.
“It’s very simple, I’m worried they don’t want to pay us and El Chapo has also paid his employees. They want us to work on a very low salary, without guarantees and in this country it’s easy, if you work hard, you deserve a salary”. said Erick Galindo, screenwriter of series and films such as Mexican Beverly Hills (CBS) or Laker Life.
The WGA union announced the start of an indefinite strike on Monday after it failed to reach an agreement with the Alliance of Film and Television Producers (AMPTP) on a new, more equitable contract.
The organization convened the “powerhouse of Hollywood” on Tuesday to organize pickets to lobby major studios outside its facilities in Los Angeles and New York.
Hundreds of writers gathered on Netflix, Amazon, Paramount, Disney, CBS, Universal, Fox, Sony and more, with taglines like “Paramount, listen, we’re in the fight!”, “Whose stories? Mine!” .
“Hollywood is the only place where you do your job and the company makes money for the rest of eternity,” Galindo said.
Old shows aired
Although the writers’ strike will gradually affect all sectors of the audiovisual industry, some television shows are already dealing with the first consequences.
NBC shows how The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon AND Late Night with Seth Meyersas well as The last show from CBS, or Jimmy Kimmel Live! of ABC, began airing repeats as of Tuesday, until further notice.
The WGA has published on its website the demands of its union for the AMPTP, among which the request for a fair payment of the “residuals”, the remuneration that the working group receives for the broadcasting of its projects, stands out.
To achieve this, screenwriters are demanding more transparency from streaming platforms about the times their work has been streamed by a user.
“Imagine you are the writer of stranger things and that no matter how many times people have seen your work, you won’t get paid fairly, even if you created those characters yourself; that’s what concerns us the most,” said actress and writer Allison Dayne.
The use of Artificial Intelligence
Another important point that the AMPTP declined to discuss concerns the regulation of artificial intelligence in script production.
“It’s crazy that they don’t want to impose restrictions on technology. There are always these restrictions for cars and weapons, why not for that? It’s about protecting human labor,” Galindo said.
While they remain positive about it, the writers agree that everyone’s biggest concern is how long a coup like this, the latest writers’ strike Hollywood has endured, can last. in 2007-2008 it had a duration of almost 100 days and large monetary losses.
“This is something very disruptive to all of our lives, we writers don’t like to leave our homes, and while the uncertainty of how long this will last scares me, I know we will eventually find a way to fix it,” Gregg said. Zehentner, screenwriter of I’m just fucking with you (Hulu).
Others also face such difficult moments for the industry with joy, such as Isaac Gómez, screenwriter of narcos (Netflix), who is one of the captains of the event and who is in charge of encouraging others to shout their slogans.
“It’s been incredible, many generations of screenwriters have come together and what matters is that we are here to create a sustainable future for the profession,” he said.
The pickets will continue for the rest of the weekand more information on the times at which they will take place can be reviewed on the WGA page.
“We invite you to support, come and see us, we want to see you,” said Dayne.
Charles Hurd is an entertainment journalist for News Rebeat. He brings a fresh and engaging voice to the world of pop culture, covering the latest developments in film, television, music, and more.