What to Know About the Threatened Hollywood Writers’ Strike

It’s déjà vu in Hollywood.

What do the writers and the guild want from negotiations?

TV show favourites such as The Walking Dead and American Horror Story could potentially be about to grind to a halt after a proposed Hollywood writers’ strike moved a step closer. At that point only one week will remain until the expiration of the current contract and the beginning of what the guild has promised will be an immediate walk out if a replacement deal is not then in place. The membership meetings will feature WGA leaders and members of the negotiating committee discussing the state of the contract talks, the state of the industry, and rallying support for the strike authorization vote. And while cable networks are producing more shows, they’re keeping seasons shorter with only 10 to 13 episodes.

The parking garage at the Sheraton Universal was filled with Hondas and Toyotas Tuesday night as WGA members gathered for a meeting ahead of a vote that would authorize a work stoppage. Film writers say they are struggling because studios are making fewer movies.

TV writers are paid by the episode, and they typically are not writing every episode of a series.

Among its many requests, the WGA wants studios to give raises and pay more for the guild’s health plan. In 2007, Writers Guild members went on strike for 100 days, shuttering several productions and costing the Los Angeles economy billions of dollars.

The Executive Director of WGA West, David J. Young, recently explained: ‘Immediately, late night shows including Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Saturday Night Live, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and others will go off the air’. Yet, there were also concerns that disenchantment with reality TV shows would grow due to the surplus, alongside a reliance on repeats, and viewers would switch off their television sets altogether for the internet.

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