It's Official - Writers Guild of America on Strike!
Confirmed via numerous sources over the weekend (as well as the fact that you can go down and see picketers) - the Writers Guild of America is going on strike! The impact this will have is quite widespread, affecting everything from late night TV shows to scripts days from completion. At numerous press conferences we attended over this weekend, the topic always mentioned was the impact of the strike; and speaking with multiple directors, multiple writers, and even actors, it's quite apparent how poignant this will be.
Now it all begins. The 12,000 members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) have all gone on strike with picketers at least showing up in New York. Negotiations to prevent a strike began last Wednesday, October 31st, before their contract was set to expire that evening. Things began to ramp up over the weekend and last minute negotiations broke down with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) on Sunday evening.
Movie studios can continue production on any number of movies that already have completed scripts, but that's it. Writers will not be writing and no new scripts will be finished until the strike ends. Variety has a great article looking at how the studios are preparing to deal with the strike and its impact internally. Beyond that, both the Screen Actors Guild and Directors Guild of America have contracts that expire next July, and if they go the same path as the WGA and strike as well, then all of Hollywood will break down.
Another previous writer's strike occurred back in 1988, lasting 22 weeks and costing the industry over $500 million. Can you remember any actual good movies that came out between 1988 to 1989? I hope this isn't a sign of things to come and I hope for the sake of the lives of the writers and everyone else employed in the entertainment industry that this doesn't last for 22 weeks.
The Movie Blog also has a great article about Understanding The Hollywood Strike for those of you who might still be confused. If you think that you can just ignore everything that happens and still go about seeing great movies all year long, that just isn't the case. We'll keep you updated on the progress of things and I personally hope the WGA comes to a resolution quickly.
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