An Overview of the Writers Strikes in Hollywood

After an extensive 148 days, movie writers finally ended their strike because of an agreement made.  Movie actors however are still on strike.
After an extensive 148 days, movie writers finally ended their strike because of an agreement made. Movie actors however are still on strike.

As of October 2nd, the WGA (Writers Guild of America) has made a deal with the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers), ending the 148-day strike that started Tuesday, May 2nd. However, the actors in SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) remain on strike.

The issue of the strikers in Hollywood has been a major point of contention in recent news. Writers working on projects wanted higher base pay, and a larger share of what money comes in from the productions they have worked on.

According to Freshman Screenplay, the average writer for a production film is entitled to anywhere from 2-3 % of the film production budget as their share of revenue.

In an interview I conducted with Kendra Munger, a striker in Hollywood, revealed many insights about what caused writers and actors to go on strike previously. “The two biggest issues that caused actors to go on strike are residuals and AI.”

Adding on to the issues of residuals, Kendra stated, “A residual check that previously could have been a four-digit check is now a three, two, or even one-digit check for the same work on the same show if it’s on a streaming platform. If an actor worked a lot in the past, residuals could be the difference between a low-income life and a middle-class life…”

Her thoughts on AI are also as follows. “Regarding AI, the Studios want to scan background actors, pay them for a day of work for the scanning, and then use those images in perpetuity whenever and however they want without the consent of the actor…” Such use of AI in the workplace of actors can render the actors useless and can take away opportunities for pay.

Now that the long strikes have ended, the workplace of writers is expected to be more positive. Because actors are still on strike, work for them is resuming at a different time than work for writers is resuming.

From here, it is unclear when the actors’ strike will end. The demands of actors differ from the demands of writers, for example, the use of artificial intelligence is significantly more threatening to the work of actors than it is to writers. Artificial intelligence can very easily replace a real actor in movie scenes. As of now, it is expected that the actors will continue to stay on strike until they get as good of a deal as the writers did.


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About the Contributor
Daniel Spears
Daniel Spears, Staff Writer
Daniel Spears is a high school senior, a staff writer for the Campus News Team, and an aspiring saxophone player in the Santa Clarita Valley. He is in all of the band programs at school, including marching band, symphonic band, and advanced jazz band. He has made numerous honor groups through the William S. Hart School district, including the Hart District honor band for 2 years, and the Hart District honor jazz band for 1 year. The people selected to be in these groups are among some of the best musicians in the district, and potentially in the entire valley or state. Writing and researching music and the arts are what stand out to him the most, and covering these topics is definitely a specialty of his. Music is a big part of his life, and is what takes up most of his time outside of school. Being a part of the student newspaper, he wishes to cover topics that may be lesser known to people on the outside reading in.