Fight for your right!// Planning to make a change, writers in the WGA make signs to use to protest in the writer’s strike. Many people a part of the movement have created signs referencing shows they’ve worked on to add their own jokes to it. (Art by Talia Medina)
The Writers’s Strike: How protesting helps make a change
by Talia Medina
The Writers’ Strike began on May 2nd, 2023, and lasted for almost four months. Dozens of writers from the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) protested for better pay and the lack of agreements alongside the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
Striking is when there is a stoppage in a workplace caused by employees refusing to work due to unethical treatment. The Writers’ Strike began because writers were unhappy with how little pay they were receiving for many of the projects that they worked on and with the idea of writers being replaced with AI “authors”. Alongside that, writers felt that several of the streaming services gave them no credit at all and because of this, it also played into their smaller pay.
The strike originally started small with mostly writers present, but more people in the film industry began to get involved, including many celebrities such as Ryan Murphy and even Steven Speilberg who donated to help with the strike. However, it still was important that people were fighting for the proper treatment instead of coming to an agreement where many writers and even actors needed to get the things that they were striving to get.
As the protests began to grow and continued each month, television shows and films began to have their release dates pushed back a couple of months or even a few years. Nonetheless, some TV shows and films got even harsher treatment such as a complete halt in production that typically leads to an indefinite hiatus, making many fans of their favorite TV show/film mad that their favorite media may never be released and get the conclusion that they deserved.
Movies that have recently gained a lot of traction such as Spider-man: Across the Spider-Verse are now on an indefinite hiatus regarding the next installment of its franchise Beyond the Spiderverse. While the continuation of popular television shows, like season 5 of Stranger Things and Season 3 of Euphoria have had their filming pushed back so much that it’s unknown when the shows’ new seasons will be released and whether those hiatuses will last for only a few months or even another year.
Many people have complained that many of their favorite films and shows release dates are being pushed back almost a couple of years or are even getting canceled. The thing that many people who only view the media don’t realize is that films/TV shows take a huge amount of time and it isn’t just made with the acting cast, but with an entire crew as well. Without the crew in many of our favorite pieces of media, many of the things that people watch regularly would never exist or have even been in a writing room. Since no media can even start without there being a script, which makes writers a crucial part of the process of creating media.
Ultimately, striking can help people get the proper treatment that they deserve, especially in such a large field of work that has a variety of jobs involved to create one big motion picture. The writers’ strike has come to a tentative agreement of increasing minimum pay, streaming residuals, and guardrails against the use of AI for scriptwriting. The strike was a necessary thing because of the unethical pay and the lack of deserved credit often given to the writers of many people’s favorite shows and thanks to the dedication of several people apart of the unions, they were able to come to an agreement that brings justice to those who felt uncredited.