The Writers Guild of America (WGA) recently began their first strike since 2008. Today. SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, Teamsters, and the DGA announced that they would be joining them in striking. The unions represent actors, television personalities, cinematographers, gaffers, theatrical technicians, and directors, respectively.
Writers in television and film are striking for fairer wages and protections against Artificial Intelligence (AI). They are also working to combat several industry shortcuts used to limit opportunities, notably a practice referred to as “mini rooms.” Studios have changed the way they pay writers amid the rise of streaming services. Now, these other entertainment unions are agreeing with the WGA.
BREAKING ???? SAG-AFTRA, Teamsters, IATSE, Writers Guild Issue Joint Statement in Solidarity with Directors Guild of America (DGA) ????https://t.co/GQBXkVpCer
— IATSE // #IASolidarity (@IATSE) May 31, 2023
While none of the additional unions have officially announced their own strikes, the statement emphasized that their “solidarity should not be underestimated.” Some are taking the statement as a threat to the ANTP to speed up negotiations, or risk an entire industry blackout.
???????? The Film and Television industry creates thousands of jobs resulting in billions of dollars in revenue for studios.
The DGA is one piece of the puzzle that makes magic happen–
Along with writers, actors & freelance film technicians.
You cannot render success without them!!
— Jennydjld (@Jennydjld) May 31, 2023
While negotiations remain ongoing, studio executives are facing mounting criticism. Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav was booed during his commencement speech at Boston University this month.
A growing list of high-profile writers and actors are joining the picket line, with writers sharing their positive experiences protesting with them online. The high visibility of the strike is drawing national attention, raising further suspicion that an official SAG-AFTRA strike will also begin soon.
Today, one former extra from “Gilmore Girls” reunited with one of the show’s stars, Liz Torres, on the picket line. Torres portrayed the eccentric town dance teacher Miss Patty on the long-running series.
23 years ago when I was 8 years old I got to play one of Miss Patty’s dancers on Gilmore Girls. today while picketing as a writer outside WB where the show was filmed, I got to reunite with THE Miss Patty. week 5 of the #WGAstrike off to a very good start. I am absolutely soaring pic.twitter.com/j2xCG6gEBs
— danielle weisberg (@danielleweisber) May 31, 2023
“Game Of Thrones” author George R. R. Martin additionally joined the picket line. His series of novels was adapted into a highly acclaimed HBO series boasting a number of stars.
— Writers Guild of America, East (@WGAEast) May 31, 2023
Major studio executives remain quiet about the behind-the-scenes negotiations. Several productions have already halted production as a result of the strike, notably including “Yellowjackets”, “Stranger Things,” “Saturday Night Live” “The Tonight Show,” and more.