The Writers Guild of America has officially gone on strike as of Tuesday, May 2nd at 12:01 AM EST.
The Writers Guild of America announced plans for the strike on Monday in a press release (see below) and announced the start of the strike on Tuesday at midnight in a series of tweets, with plans to start picketing on Tuesday afternoon.
Among the impact, it’s learned the writers strike is immediately shutting down late night TV shows including The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Daily Show is also going to feel the effects, and weekly shows such as Saturday Night Live, Real Time with Bill Maher, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver will be impacted.
Basically, any shows that use writers on a daily or weekly basis will feel the immediate impacts. Any projects that are currently being written will see the writers on strike and not working on the various projects going forward until the strike is over.
Writers Guild of America announces strike:
The decision was made following six weeks of negotiating with @Netflix, @Amazon, @Apple, @Disney, @wbd, @NBCUniversal, @Paramountplus and @Sony under the umbrella of the AMPTP.— Writers Guild of America West (@WGAWest) May 2, 2023
Picketing will begin tomorrow afternoon. #WGAStrong #WGAStrike— Writers Guild of America West (@WGAWest) May 2, 2023
The group which consists of Hollywood writers also previously posted about the WGA’s proposal to regulate Artificial Intelligence (AI) and that the studios need to respond to the crisis writers are facing.
WGA on Artificial Intelligence (AI):
AI can’t be used as source material, to create MBA-covered writing or rewrite MBA-covered work, and AI-generated text cannot be considered in determining writing credits. 2/7— Writers Guild of America West (@WGAWest) March 22, 2023
In the same way that a studio may point to a Wikipedia article, or other research material, and ask the writer to refer to it, they can make the writer aware of AI-generated content. 4/7— Writers Guild of America West (@WGAWest) March 22, 2023
If it's been fed both copyright-protected and public domain content, it cannot distinguish between the two. Its output is not eligible for copyright protection, nor can an AI software program sign a certificate of authorship. 6/7— Writers Guild of America West (@WGAWest) March 22, 2023
To the contrary, plagiarism is a feature of the AI process. #WGAStrong #WGAContract2023 #1u 7/7— Writers Guild of America West (@WGAWest) March 22, 2023
Studios need to respond:
The effect of a yes vote is to authorize the WGA leadership to call for a strike after May 1st if the companies are unwilling to meet our reasonable and fair demands. 2/3— Writers Guild of America West (@WGAWest) April 3, 2023
WGA MEMBERS: Check your email for important details #WGAStrong— Writers Guild of America West (@WGAWest) April 3, 2023
The following press release was released on Monday, May 1:
Writers Guild of America Calls Strike, Effective Tuesday, May 2
Following the unanimous recommendation of the WGA Negotiating Committee, the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) and the Council of the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), acting upon the authority granted to them by their memberships, have voted unanimously to call a strike, effective 12:01 AM, Tuesday, May 2.
The decision was made following six weeks of negotiations with Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Discovery-Warner, NBC Universal, Paramount and Sony under the umbrella of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The WGA Negotiating Committee began this process intent on making a fair deal, but the studios’ responses have been wholly insufficient given the existential crisis writers are facing.
The companies’ behavior has created a gig economy inside a union workforce, and their immovable stance in this negotiation has betrayed a commitment to further devaluing the profession of writing. From their refusal to guarantee any level of weekly employment in episodic television, to the creation of a “day rate” in comedy variety, to their stonewalling on free work for screenwriters and on AI for all writers, they have closed the door on their labor force and opened the door to writing as an entirely freelance profession. No such deal could ever be contemplated by this membership.
Picketing will begin tomorrow afternoon.
The Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) are labor unions representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media, and broadcast news. The Guilds negotiate and administer contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of their members; conduct programs, seminars, and events on issues of interest to writers; and present writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, West, visit www.wga.org. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit www.wgaeast.org.