The Writers Guild of America (WGA), the union that represents the writers for television and film here in the US, took a vote about the current status of their contracts, and their feelings about striking for better terms. With 97.9% tremendously voting to strike, should no contract be reached by May 1st, that is exactly what will happen.
Danielle Sanchez-Witzel is a member of the union’s negotiating team. From where she sits, the decision to strike is crucial at this time. “This is not an ordinary negotiating cycle. We are fighting for writers’ economic survival and stability of our profession… We’re disappointed, but not surprised. The companies have never taken our issues seriously without at least the threat of a fight.”
This recorded message that was sent to members of the union paints a bleak picture of the prospect of negotiations or coming to terms anytime soon. With the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) looking at this vote as a predetermined conclusion, they sound ready for the fight. “A strike authorization vote has always been part of the WGA’s plan, announced before the parties even exchanged proposals. Its inevitable ratification should come as no surprise to anyone.”
As the voice for Amazon, Apple, CBS, Disney, NBC Universal, Netflix, and Paramount Global among others, the AMPTP has announced consistent force reduction efforts to their budgets over the last few months. This combined with other money-saving measures has made many members of the WGA more than nervous over the last few months, with many more than happy to walk away from the industry and leave the American consumer with no new entertainment.
If no writers show up to the TV and film sets, your favorite shows will cease to exist. And that could mean a long summer and fall of re-runs. Is there anything we can do? Nope. Just hope that negotiations can actually be made.