Sunday, June 4, 2023

An update on the WGA strike after one month plus news about SAG-AFTRA and DGA

The writers strike has been going on for a full month, so it's the subject of today's Sunday entertainment feature. I begin with the Los Angeles Times reporting Hollywood's writers are on strike. Here are five things you need to know on June 1, 2023.

Hollywood's writers have gone on strike for the first time in 15 years amid a sea change in the way content is being distributed and creators are being compensated.
PBS NewsHour covered much the same territory two weeks ago, when it uploaded Hollywood faces larger work stoppage as actors threaten to strike alongside writers.

The actors union SAG-AFTRA has called for a strike authorization vote. If the strike is approved, actors could join the more than 11,000 Writers Guild members already on the picket line putting more pressure on studios and networks. The writers' strike halted production of movies, scripted series and late-night shows. Geoff Bennett discussed what's at stake with Sal Gentile and Jeane Phan Wong.
The SAG-AFTRA leadership is recommending that the rank-and-file vote yes. Based on that and the solidarity among all the unions supporting the WGA, I think the vote will be yes. That puts added pressure on the TV and movie producers before the SAG-AFTRA contract expires on June 30.

One Hollywood union will almost certainly not be striking, as ABC 7 in Los Angeles reported Directors guild and Hollywood studios reach tentative agreement on new 3-year contract today.

The deal includes wage increases totaling 12% throughout the three years of the contract and provides a 76% increase in streaming residuals.
This reminds me of what I wrote last month.
[Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw] observed that the studios appear to be waiting to finalize the contracts with the DGA and SAG-AFTRA before settling with the WGA, which is what happened 15 years ago. History doesn't repeat, but it sure does rhyme.
Sure enough, current events are rhyming with history. CBS News quoted the WGA's response in the description to WGA says potential DGA deal wouldn't end writers strike.*
In a memo Thursday, the Writers Guild of America told members that the Directors Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild negotiations will not affect their fight. The memo said the "era of divide and conquer is over." Anousha Sakoui, a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, joined CBS News to talk about the situation, a month into the writers strike.
Let's see if the WGA is right, or if current events continue to rhyme with history. Stay tuned.

*The various CBS News YouTube accounts have a line about video licensing. I'm not sure that applies to embedding their videos, which CBS News hasn't blocked, but I'm not taking any chances by embedding any of their videos from the past year since they added that line.


  1. Thanks to Steve in Manhattan for linking to me in Mike’s Blog Round-Up at Crooks and Liars and welcome to all of you who came here from that link! Also, welcome to all my Singaporean, Dutch, Israeli, Ukrainian, and other international readers. I appreciate all of you, especially my Singaporean readers, who have more than 17,000 page views this week, ten times as many as my American readers! Wow!