Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery are requiring their showrunners to continue working during the Hollywood writers’ strike, despite demands from the Writers Guild of America (WGA) for better guarantees for writers. John D. Payne and Patrick McKay, showrunners of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, have joined the strike, but because their job roles extend beyond writing, the studios are requesting that they continue working in other areas.
Disney’s legal department, ABC, sent a letter to showrunners on May 3, stating that any strike action would not be accepted and that personal services agreements require them to perform their duties regardless. HBO Max also sent a letter to showrunners, advising them to continue with non-writing activities such as casting and post-production work.
The strike resembles the 2007-2008 strike, which lasted for 100 days and had significant impacts on the film and television industry, including cancelled shows, postponed movie releases, and loss of jobs. However, the strike also positively raised awareness of copyright and intellectual property, resulting in writers obtaining significant concessions from studios.
The Hollywood writers’ strike continues, and its long-term effects on the industry remain to be seen.