History looks to repeat itself yet again, or at least it could if the WGA and the AMPTP can’t strike a deal.
For those of you that don’t know, the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Programs are currently in negotiations for a new contract for film and TV writers to get funding for the guild, and possibly increase that funding. But the deals are starting to fall through, and if neither side can reach an agreement, the WGA will go on strike beginning on May 2. The guild stated that a if a strike occurs, then “writing for television, feature films, and digital series would cease.”
The last time this happened was in November of 2007 and lasted until February of 2008, when the WGA fought for increased funding in comparison to larger movie studios. While the film industry wasn’t hit very hard by the strike, television suffered as a result. Seasons of popular shows were cut short or delayed, other shows were cancelled, and there was a large uptick in reality-television programming. Late night TV was hit the hardest, as these programs had to air reruns due to most of their staff being laid off.
If another strike were to occur, we can expect some of the same results. Some of our favorite shows might have shorter seasons, and anybody looking for some sharp, late night political humor will be out of luck (though Trump supporters might be a bit happy about this considering their president is the butt of most of the late night jokes).
If anything, I think this strike really does illustrate how important writers are to the television landscape as a whole. While big name stars and high-quality productions are important, if you don’t have a team of good storytellers behind you then you won’t get anything done.
As much as I would love for my favorite shows not to suffer because of this, I would support a strike if it does happen. Writers should be equally compensated for their work as what they do is where every film or tv production starts. The AMPTP should never underestimate the power of a good storytellers, especially if they hope to keep their profits moving for the upcoming pilot season.