From May 2, 2023 to October 9, 2023 the Writers Guild of America went on strike against the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers. The writers went on strike demanding higher wages and royalties, required staffing in writing rooms, and assurance their jobs were not going to be taken over by AI. A big issue that writers had was financial instability during the streaming and airing of the shows they had worked on. Due to this, writers were also fighting for their residual earnings while the show was streaming. Many popular shows have either been shut down or pushed back due to the writers being on strike. This includes everything from late night shows like Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live to streaming shows like Stranger Things, Cobra Kai, and Abbott Elementary. After almost five months the strike officially came to an end on October 8th, 2023. A three year contract was then signed granting the writers pay raises, pensions, increased benefits, and more. Officials of the Writers Guild of America voted to accept this deal and writers were then able to begin producing scripts again as of the next day, however it may still take a long time for many scripted shows to return.
The conflict between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers is nothing new. The roots of this dispute began in 2007, more than 15 years ago. This strike, similar to the most recent one, was caused due to a disagreement over a new and improved contract. Both writers in 2007 and 2023 had similar goals. Writers in 2007 were fighting for a raise in residual rates for DVD sales and control over residuals from newer media and technology. The strike eventually ended in February of 2008 and resulted in an agreement and new contract.
When interviewing Leonia High School students about their opinions and thoughts on the writers strike and some of their favorite shows being canceled, junior Sofie Gaevaya stated, “Because of the writer’s strike James Cameron had to push the Avatar 3 movie back. This makes me very disappointed and upset because I was looking forward to it.” Another junior, Katerina Romanides, replied, “A lot of my favorite shows have been shut down and can’t film. Abbott Elementary, one of my favorite shows, got shut down which made me very sad because I was looking forward to Season 3.” Finally, freshman Grace Widensky added, “The writers’ strike pushed back many of my favorite shows, one in particular being Stranger Things. Now when season 5 finally comes out I will be in college.”
Edited by: Katerina Romanides