History Repeats Itself: The WGA Strike 2017

In 2007, the Writer’s Guild of America conducted in a strike that lasted from November 5th, 2007 to February 12th, 2008, resulting in a massive loss of $287 million in compensation for writer’s, the cancellation of several prime-time programs, loans were taken to make a living, not to mention the financial crisis that was the collapse of the Housing Bubble later that year.

It appears that history is going to repeat itself, at least from the WGA side of things. On Monday, April 24th, 2017, with a 96% approval from 67.5% of Guild Membership, authorized a strike with 6,310 being totaled over the week, according to Variety‘s Dave McNary.

On March 13th, negotiations began between the WGA and the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) and on April 5th, the WGA reported that the strike could have a significant effect on the prime-time programs this season. April 17th marked a suspension of negotiations so that the ballots could be cast (McNary 2017). With an approval for a strike, this could be devastating to film production and the industry in general, with similar reasons as the previous strike in 2007:

“The guild is asking for raises in minimums and script fees in an effort to offset changes in the nature of TV series production that have hit writers’ earnings. It’s pushing for parity for the payment structures for those working on shows for cable and SVOD outlets, where fees remain lower than those for traditional broadcast network TV, along with an increase in employer contributions to the guild’s health plan, which has been operating at a deficit” (McNary 2017).

With both the WGA and AMPTP bent on keeping the industry going, it seems apparent that no one wanted this strike to happen if it could come to terms. Upon the vote, the AMPTP released a statement: ” “The companies are committed to reaching a deal at the bargaining table that keeps the industry working…. We remain focused on our objective of reaching a deal with the WGA at the bargaining table when the guild returns on April 25th” (McNary 2017).

Hopefully by day’s end, we shall see a resolution to the problem that caused the death of programs, the loss of jobs, and various other issues that resulted in a stagnation of growth within in the industry from a writer’s perspective.


Work Cited

McNary, Dave. “Writers Guild Members Vote for Strike Authorization With 96% Support.” Variety. N.p., 24 Apr. 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

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