Writers’ Strike is Over!

On May 2, 2023, Hollywood froze as the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) unanimously voted to go on strike against the major film and television companies for the first time since 2007.

Some may recall the 2007-2008 writers’ strike which affected major film franchises like Transformers, James Bond, and other stand alone films that decided to produce and film without the writers involved, which led to bad reviews and terrible box office performances. 

The Writers Guild of America were fighting for “higher wages and residual payments, minimum staffing for writers’ rooms, and protections against the use of artificial intelligence” (What the Writer’s Guild won in the new deal with studios | Here & Now (wbur.org) ). 

All of these are covered in the deal struck between the union and major companies, with wages and residual payments being raised, the use of A.I. being put to a minimum, and more writers being employed for a writing room when producing content. 

The deal has been reviewed and approved by the board of the WGA, and will be voted on by the guild’s members from Oct. 2 to Oct. 9. t is assumed to be ratified by the members. 

Once this plan is officially ratified, shows like The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live (SNL) can start back up and start filming. 

One problem that still stands in the way of these shows running is the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, or SAG-AFTRA, strike that started mid-July in which the actors and actresses of Hollywood also went on strike for similar reasons as the writers.

Many shows like SNL and The Tonight Show always have guests like actors and actresses come on to be in the episode. This doesn’t mean the show can’t run, there are still celebrities that can be interviewed who aren’t actors, but it limits the amount of guests and topics they can talk about than what they normally would have. 

A friend of mine, Aubrey Dittmar, is a fellow actor and writer herself, to which she is starring in a new limited series titled, Rosemary Street. The production of the show has halted due to the strike, so I asked about her feelings on the writers’ strike being over, the actors’ strike continuing, and what this means for her in the future.

“I am incredibly glad that writers and major companies finally came to a deal, ending the strike. I really hope that the deal is what the writers truly wanted,” said Dittmar. “The strike pushed back our production immensely and I wasn’t paid for months.” 

Dittmar has been an amazing actor for many different productions and companies, and this is just the beginning for her, which is starting off limited as many shows that she can participate in are being regulated immensely due to the strikes. Now with the WGA striking a deal, more opportunities can open up. 

When asked  if the actors’ strike will be ending soon due to the writer’s strike now ending, Dittmar stated,“I think so, since one thing is resolved, I think companies will realize they need to do the same for the actors and actresses.”

WGA has approved the deal as a board, and now the members of the board will vote from Oct. 2 to Oct. 9. The deal is expected to be ratified, bringing us one step closer to Hollywood being fully open and getting back to making the amazing films that we all know and love.