What The WGA Strike Means For Entertainment

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The Writers Guild of America (WGA) represents thousands of screenwriters behind some of television and film’s biggest hits. Today marks the beginning of a complete strike from countless writers nationwide, beginning with major productions in New York City and Los Angeles. The last WGA strike took place between 2007 and 2008, and impacted countless major television programs at the time.

The current strike is a result of a rapid pay decrease by 23% since the pandemic, as a result of both inflation and streaming services running shorter seasons. Additionally, several guild members revealed that their respective workplaces refused to impose regulations on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the writer’s room. Some tech entrepreneurs insist that AI can replace several types of writing careers, and writers are fighting back.

Among the many halted productions are “Saturday Night Live”, “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon”, “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” “The Daily Show,” “Abbott Elementary,” “Cobra Kai,” and “Yellowjackets.”

Celebrity Support

Last night at the Met Gala, actress Amanda Seyfried spoke out in support of the WGA ahead of the strike. Given that 15 years have passed since the last strike, Seyfried agreed with the writers that changes are long overdue. Strikers thanked the actress for her support on Twitter.


Jimmy Fallon additionally agreed to shut down production on “The Tonight Show” in support of the writers.

Quinta Brunson, who created and stars in “Abbott Elementary”, additionally offered commentary on the strike at the Met Gala. Brunson herself is a member of WGA.

Words From The Writers

Despite Fallon’s support, one “Tonight Show” employee confirmed via Twitter that NBC told workers that their company provided health insurance would be cut by the end of the month if the strike is ongoing. She confirmed that Fallon was not a part of this meeting or decision.


Seth Meyers allegedly is looking to continue financially supporting his crew should the parent company cut their benefits.

Others are using examples of critically acclaimed shows with severely underpaid writers, including Hulu’s “The Bear.”

Protests continue to surge on both the east coast and the west coast. One writer was interviewed on the scene, and she stated that she was striking over the short lifespan of streaming productions and the lack of residual payments.

In New York, a writer on “The Simpsons” stepped out to protest after working on the show for 30 years.

Many were impressed with the solidarity from civilians and other unionized entertainment workers of IATSE and SAG-AFTRA.

Actor and screenwriter Danny Strong explained the importance of the strike amid the streaming era. Strong famously starred as Doyle in “Gilmore Girls” and now created and writes for “Dopesick.” The multi-hyphenate explained the concept of “mini rooms” and how they take advantage of writers as well.

Past Comparisons

The last writers strike between 2007 and 2008 not only cost viewers quality television. The strike delivered a blow of 2.1 billion dollars to California’s economy alone. Today, social media users are reminding current strikers and pop culture fans of some of the celebrities that stood with the WGA 15 years ago.

Conan O’Brien, a late night television host at the time, famously spun his wedding ring on his desk to fill up air time, and paid the salaries of his crew from his own pocket.

Actor Steve Carrell reportedly would call in sick to skip acting on the set of “The Office” amid the strike. The sicknesses in question were always humorous.

What Does This All Mean?

The writers strike is already sparking a domino effect of a blackout in the entertainment industry. Some suspect that amid the recent rise of book-to-television adaptations that authors will soon be asked to fill the seats of screenwriters. This WGA member explained why this would not benefit authors either.

Other writers assert that even if a script has already been written, screenwriters typically continue to work closely to productions and make alterations throughout based on actors’ performances.

Entertainment journalists are standing in solidarity with the strikers. Amid recent mass layoffs across news media and striking for similar reasons, many feel that screenwriters roles in the industry are imperative to what critics cover.

The strike currently has no end in sight. Several entertainment executives spoke out against the strike, with David Zaslav of Warner Bros. saying that he was initially “hopeful” that negotiations would end before they came to a strike. No further progress has been made and the strike remains ongoing.

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