Hollywood is coming to a standstill as the American entertainment industry is bracing itself for the start of a screenwriters' strike following weeks of negotiations and attempts to reach a compromise.
The Screenwriters Guild announced the strike after negotiations with the super organization of American production companies and broadcasters failed.
Over 15 years have passed since the last strike which lasted for over three months and caused significant disruptions to numerous productions. The strike affected both pre-production and ongoing productions, particularly TV shows and programs that were on air. Late-night TV talk shows, which rely heavily on their writers, were hit especially hard.
The ongoing Hollywood screenwriter strike is expected to have an immediate impact on the American entertainment industry. The strike will put a halt to work on popular talk shows and late-night shows, such as the "Tonight Show" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," which heavily rely on their writers.
Some programs have already gone dark and others may soon shift to an emergency footing as seen during the previous strike, resulting in a significantly reduced format of the show.
The ongoing strike is anticipated to inflict short and long-term damage on the filmed content. Several series such as "The Yellows", "Abbott Elementary", "The Last of Us", "The White Lotus" on HBO, "Detachment" on Apple TV Plus, "The Boys" on Amazon Prime and many other shows with new seasons in the making are expected to halt production immediately.
Additionally, work on new series development is also expected to be impacted. However, filming for the highly anticipated second season of HBO's "Dragon House" is expected to continue, as the episodes have already been written, as per Variety.
The Screenwriters Guild has presented a detailed document outlining their demands from the broadcasting and production bodies. Among the demands are a fixed minimum number of screenwriters and production weeks in any given television production, as well as a share of streaming revenues.
In addition, the guild calls for an increase in the minimum wage paid to American television writers and seeks to establish supervision and regulation regarding the use of artificial intelligence in the writing process.
The guild hopes to prevent the erosion of the Hollywood screenwriting industry and to protect the livelihoods of its members. Specifically, the guild wants to prevent AI from being used to write or rewrite literary content and to prohibit its use as source material.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have released the following statement: "The companies’ behavior has created a gig economy inside a union work force, and their immovable stance in this negotiation has betrayed a commitment to further devaluing the profession of writing.
"We remain willing to engage in discussions with the WGA in an effort to break this logjam and we further remain united in our desire to reach a deal that is mutually beneficial to writers and the health and longevity of the industry, and to avoid hardship to the thousands of employees who depend upon the industry for their livelihoods."