Will The Writers Strike Begin Monday?

That's the word from Hollywood

Will The Writers Strike Begin Monday?

by Olly Richards |
Published on

That fabled writers strike that everyone's been discussing as a possibility for months? Well, it could start on Monday, with the Writers Guild of America negotiating committee voting unanimously for strike action during discussions last night. A final decision on whether and when to strike could be reached later today once meetings have taken place with the WGA West board and the WGA East Council (who we like to think of as very similar to the Jedi council, but with paler and with big typewriters).

If the WGA does decide to definitely strike (which is regarded as a foregone conclusion within the industry) they will still have to decide on an official start date, which could be as early as Monday. WGA members have been instructed to continue as normal and await instructions on when to pick up their placards.

Nick Counter, president of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, who are negotiating with the WGA told Variety in a statement that they fully expected the strike to go ahead.

"By the WGA leadership's actions at the bargaining table, we are not surprised by tonight's recommendation. We are ready to meet and are prepared to close this contract this weekend," he said alluding to the bitter war of words that has erupted between the two groups in recent days.

The reason for the WGA strike is a disagreement over how writers should be compensated for use of their work on the internet and mobile phones. The AMPTP has discussed a deal similar to the residuals awarded for DVD sales, but the WGA already feel the amount given on DVDs to be too small (they receive less than 5 cents per disc sold) and is fighting to have that sum increased. The AMPTP say that rising costs and lower revenues from TV and film mean that that's an impossibility.

So, what happens if this strike goes ahead? Well, first the police will come and take away everybody's pens and pencils...No, seriously, it means that nobody in the WGA can write anything at all for money until the situation's resolved. It will hit TV first, since they need scripts far more regularly and Hollywood studios have been stockpiling for a while. But scripts will have to be shot in their current state, no room for re-writes during production. Whatever happens, there are some interesting times ahead.

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