Hollywood is facing a crisis after scriptwriters paralyzed the audiovisual industry with their strike. Thousands of writers marched on the streets of Los Angeles and New York, shouting “No contract, no scripts!” on the first day of the strike by the Writers Guild of America (WGA). The strike was initiated on Monday after the WGA failed to reach an agreement with the Alliance of Film and Television Producers (AMPTP) for a new, fairer contract. The pickets will continue this week, and further information on the times and locations can be found on the WGA website.
The strike will gradually affect all sectors of the audiovisual industry, with some television programs already facing the first consequences. NBC shows like “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” will air reruns, until further notice. A major issue for the writers is the fair payment of the “residuals” that the work team receives for the broadcast of their projects. To achieve this, the scriptwriters demand more transparency from the streaming platforms about the times their work has been reproduced by a user.
Another important issue is the regulation of the artificial intelligence (AI) in the production of scripts, which the AMPTP refused to discuss. The writers are concerned about protecting human labor. The uncertainty of how long the strike will continue is causing concern, as the last writers’ strike that Hollywood went through in 2007-2008 lasted almost 100 days and resulted in great monetary losses.
Despite the hard times, some writers are facing the situation positively. Isaac Gómez, screenwriter of “Narcos” (Netflix), is one of the captains of the demonstration and encourages others to shout their slogans. The pickets will continue the rest of the week and the WGA invites everyone to support, meet them, and review additional information on their website.