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The Eastern Echo Saturday, June 22, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

Opinion: What Writers Guild of America strike means for audiences

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) began their strike on May 2, 2023 over labor disputes with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

The AMPTP negotiates for all of the major studios and hundreds of different production companies. The WGA is fighting for streaming residuals and compensation, a health fund and professional standards and protection for writers. These demands have not yet been met by the studios, so the strike is still in full force.

The WGA combined efforts with Screen Actors Guild (SAG) after their contract expired on July 13. This strike makes history as it's the first time in 63 years that both guilds are on strike at the same time.

Late night shows are now without writers, as well as actors absent from movie premieres. While the union is on strike actors can’t act or promote any of their work. 

Movies and shows have been pushed back or paused until the negotiations are done. Films like Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, Dune: Part Two, Deadpool 3, Wicked, and many more Hollywood movies are being pushed, leaving a gap at the box office.

The guild stated that they cannot punish non-guild members who continue to work against the striking union, but they promise to bar writers from future Guild membership.

Both the WGA and AMPTP released statements on Sept. 8 about the ongoing negotiations.

“The AMPTP member companies are aligned and are negotiating together to reach a resolution. Any suggestion to the contrary is false,” AMPTP said in a written statement. “Every member company of the AMPTP wants a fair deal for writers and actors and an end to the strikes, which are affecting not only our writer and actor colleagues, but also thousands of others across the industry.”

"In the 130 days since the WGA strike began, the AMPTP has only offered one proposal to the WGA, on August 11th,” said WGA in a written statement. “Since then, the companies have not moved off that proposal even though the WGA in turn presented our own counterproposal to the AMPTP on August 15th, the current standstill is not a sign of the companies’ power, but of AMPTP paralysis.”

The take away from this strike is people are fighting for fair compensation, so when there isn't anything to watch, tell your disdain to the AMPTP. Supporting the WGA & SAG strike is supporting the people who make all your favorite shows entertaining, so support guild members while they fight for fair compensation. 

Those interested in updates on the situation can visit the WGA contract website.