After months of negotiation, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has officially commenced its strike. This decision came after WGA members voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike, citing issues with compensation and benefits, particularly in the areas of streaming and digital content.
The strike affects over 10,000 members of the WGA who work in television, film, and digital media. Writers from major studios such as Disney, Warner Bros, and NBCUniversal have all expressed their support for the strike, with many refusing to work until their demands are met.
We can bet that there is further pay disparity among writers of color, including those from the Latine community, as well as women writers. It’s an extra layer to an already arduous battle for those who aren’t properly represented in the media to face.
One of the main issues the WGA is fighting for is better compensation for streaming content. As more and more viewers turn to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, the WGA is seeking fair compensation for writers who work on these platforms. According to the WGA, writers currently receive lower rates for streaming content than they do for traditional TV shows and movies, despite the fact that streaming content often reaches a larger audience.
Another key issue is the WGA’s demand for improved health and pension benefits. As the entertainment industry continues to evolve, many writers are finding it increasingly difficult to make a living, and the WGA is seeking to ensure that its members are adequately compensated and protected.
In a statement, the WGA emphasized that the strike was a last resort, and that the organization had made every effort to negotiate with the studios before taking this step. The statement also acknowledged that the strike would cause disruption and inconvenience but argued that it was necessary to secure a better future for writers in the industry.
Many people are taking to their social media to express their concern at the lack of proper pay.
98% of WGA members beginning on Monday! pic.twitter.com/VdNtzpdPiK
— Steven Canals (@StevenCanals) April 28, 2023
— ♥ Gloria Calderón Kellett ♥ (@everythingloria) May 2, 2023
If you're confused about the writers strike, it's super basic. The studios want the option of having #WGA writers to work for free, or without an agreed upon weekly salary, or even a day rate. And we actually want to get paid fairly for our work. https://t.co/3muJnqqAJR
— Erick Galindo (@ErickGEEE) May 2, 2023
Day One done. if u see me on the news let me know.
And re: my sign. Don't think they're loyal to you either. They wouldn't bat an eye…
We are fighting for the integrity of this business#WGAStrong pic.twitter.com/irU8d3Ilmh
— Dani Fernandez (@msdanifernandez) May 3, 2023
— Writers Guild of America West (@WGAWest) May 2, 2023
Other industry experts and leaders are sharing their disdain for the lack of respect from companies who make billions of dollars from their creativity.
“My parents risked everything to come to this country because they believed in the very simple American idea of getting paid fairly for your work and ideas. The streamers refuse to bargain in good faith to protect the human labor force and ’s super un-American,” Erick Galindo, five-time Telly Award-winning Mexican American writer, director, and showrunner, told BELatina News.
Galindo hits on something very real for the Latine community. Many of us do come to the United States in search of this prophetic American Dream and it’s supposed to be attached to proper financial security. Yet, this dream is becoming more and more far-fetched as the years pass by – but it has a quick solution: Pay people fairly.
When BELatina asked the reputable Latina writer, producer, director, and actress, Gloria Calderón-Kellett, about the current WGA strike, she said that writers create, write, and produce thousands of TV episodes and films each year, but despite the industry’s financial success, median weekly pay for TV writers-producers has declined, with a 23 percent drop when adjusted for inflation.
“Younger writers starting their careers deserve fair wages, and the industry needs to make adjustments to reflect changing times, “she added.
As the WGA strike progresses, what happens next?
The strike is expected to have a significant impact on the entertainment industry, with some predicting that it could last for months. It is of note that the last strike, which took place in 2007-2008, lasted 100 days. Many shows and films may be delayed or postponed, and some networks and studios may struggle to find enough content to fill their schedules.
Despite the uncertainty, many members of the WGA remain optimistic about the outcome of the strike. Some argue that the strike is a necessary step to ensure that writers are fairly compensated in the digital age, while others see it as an opportunity to bring attention to broader issues of inequality and exploitation in the entertainment industry.
As the strike continues, the WGA and the studios will continue to negotiate in an effort to reach a resolution. While the outcome remains uncertain, it is clear that the strike has sparked an important conversation about the future of the entertainment industry and the rights of workers within it.
F*ck around and find out. That’s the sentiment behind the current WGA strike. And it’s all within reason. May they ALL get the compensation they deserve soon.