Studios brace for writers strike


It is looking very likely that the Writers Guild of America will strike the Hollywood studios for the first time since 1988. Just when the strike could come is not clear, but negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have failed to make much progress on the biggest issue – residuals from “new media” profits.

“While the WGA remains determined to make a fair deal, at this stage of the negotiations the AMPTP is still stuck on its rollback proposals including profit-based residuals. Our members will not stand for that. The entertainment industry is successful and growing like never before. Writers, whose creativity is at the heart of that success and growth, are committed to sharing in it,” said the most recent statement from the WGA negotiating committee.

The current WGA contract with the studios expires the end of this month. A strike could be called any time after that if the union decides that talks are going nowhere. If the writers do walk out, it might have no immediate impact on TV schedules. Many shows for the current season are already in the can and there are scripts already written waiting to be shot. But, at some time, non-union writers might not be enough to keep production on schedule.