The Big 2023 Hollywood Writers’ Strike: 8 Important Facts

The WGA (Writers Guild of America) decided to go on strike starting May 2. The 2023 Hollywood writers’ strike means they will stop writing new episodes and movies until their demands are met. This could affect the production and release of many popular shows and films, especially in genres like comedy, drama, and late-night talk shows. The last WGA strike was in 2007-2008, and it lasted for 100 days. It cost the industry an estimated $2 billion and resulted in many shows being canceled or shortened.

1. What’s the Writers Guild of America?

2023 Hollywood Writers' Strike - WGA building
2023 Hollywood Writers’ Strike. Screenshot: ABC 7 Chicago

The WGA represents over 11,000 writers who create scripts for your favorite shows and movies. They are unhappy with how studios and streaming services treat them in the era of online entertainment, where they get paid less and work longer.

2. WGA Contract with AMPTP Expires

On May 1, 2023, the WGA’s contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents major studios and streaming services, expired.

3. Negotiations Fail to Reach an Agreement by the deadline

Despite starting negotiations on March 20, 2023, the AMPTP representing the major companies in the industry, and WGA, could not reach an agreement by May 1, 2023, the final day of their previous contract.

4. WGA Members Vote to Authorize a Strike

In April, WGA members voted to authorize a strike with an overwhelming 97 percent majority.

5. WGA Announces Strike Following Unanimous Board Vote

The WGA declared the 2023 Hollywood writers’ strike effective at 12:01 a.m. PST on May 2. This was after the board of directors voted unanimously to call for a walkout.

6. Strike Impacts TV and Film Production

Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert at his late-night studio. Screenshot: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert / CBS

The 2023 Hollywood writers’ strike will affect the production of numerous television shows, particularly late-night talk shows, comedy programs, and scripted dramas. Some movies may also experience delays or disruptions due to the strike.

7. Key Negotiation Issues: Compensation and Working Conditions in the Streaming Era

The primary points of disagreement in the negotiations involve compensation and working conditions for writers in the streaming era. This means shorter seasons, longer episodes, and lower earnings. The WGA also pushes for guaranteed weekly employment for TV writers and protections against artificial intelligence.

8. AMPTP Claims WGA’s Demands Are Unreasonable

The AMPTP asserts that it has offered generous increases in compensation and fees for writers. It argues that the WGA’s demands are unreasonable and disregard economic realities. The AMPTP also opposes the WGA’s proposals for mandatory staffing and the duration of employment.

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We cross-check our facts with the world’s leading news providers. Here are the articles we read about the 2023 Hollywood writers’ strike.