Concerning the writers’ strike

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A group of striking workers holding signs stating “SAG-AFTRA ON STRIKE!” walking outside a brick building belonging to Warner Bros. Discovery. They are walking partially on the street and partially on the sidewalk, protected from cars by a mobile metal fence.
Workers’ rights are essential to the creation and upkeep of a healthy middle class. Who needs one of those though when the upper class are doing so well? This has never gone wrong before! Phil Roeder via Flickr

A run-down of the latest information regarding the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes

If you’re frequently online and you like pop culture, you’ve probably seen information online about the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) striking and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) striking, also known as the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike. But, what exactly is going on that’s making them strike, and what’s being affected? 

The WGA started prepping for a walkout in February and started negotiating with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) in late March. The WGA writers are striking because, with the rise of streaming, there has also been a lowering of their paychecks. They’re asking for a high minimum wage for their work, higher residuals for already completed work, more compensation throughout the production period, and better insurance plans. The strike itself started on May 1 after WGA and AMPTP could not reach an agreement. SAG-AFTRA announced they were joining the strike on July 13 by President Fran Drescher through a speech. 

By the time the strike hit 100 days in early August, the movie industry had mostly slowed to a halt. 171,500 people were on strike. 

Very recently, on August 22, the WGA went back in for negotiations with some very important people: Bob Iger, CEO of Disney; David Zaslav, CEO of Discovery; Ted Sarandos, co-CEO of Netflix; and Donna Langley, CEO of NBC Universal. During the meeting, the group of CEOs wanted to make it clear that they were only offering this one counter-deal.  

The meeting lasted two hours. The counter-offer included, according to the WGA’s statement, no weekly pay, few writings being covered, no regulation for using WGA members’ work to train artificial intelligence, and six WGA staff were given permission to study streaming data for information about more residuals for writers. WGA asked for contracts to be a minimum of 13 weeks guaranteed, and at least six writers per writing room. The AMPTP offered ten weeks and two writers. 

In this deal, the WGA would need Disney to offer 0.088 per cent of their revenue, Netflix to offer 0.206 per cent, Warner Bros. Discovery to offer 0.104 per cent, Paramount to offer 0.143 per cent, NBC Universal to offer 0.027 per cent, Amazon to offer 0.006 per cent, Sony to offer 0.027 per cent, and Apple to offer the lowest, at 0.004 per cent of revenue. 

The biggest issue that’s been spread online with the AMPTP in regards to the strike is how much actors and writers get paid for streaming residuals on platforms like Netflix and Disney+. Some actors and writers have shared that they make less than a dollar per episode through these streaming platforms. Their previous work now gets them less than a dollar a month, when many of these writers and actors rely on residuals to live.  

What shows and movies exactly are we missing out on because of the strike? 

Abbott Elementary on ABC, American Dad on Fox, American Horror Story on FX, Cobra Kai on Netflix, Daredevil: Born Again on Disney+, Emily in Paris on Netflix, Family Guy on Fox, Grey’s Anatomy on ABC, The Last of Us on HBO, The Sex Lives of College Girls on Max, Stranger Things on Netflix, The Summer I Turned Pretty on Prime Video, and Yellowjackets on Showtime have all paused due to the strike. For movies, Deadpool 3, Beetlejuice 2, Gladiator 2, Wicked, and Venom 3 have all ceased production due to the strikes. Meanwhile, Dune: Part Two, The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire have all had their release dates extended due to the strikes. 

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