The union, which represents more than 11,000 writers for film, television and other entertainment, announced its strike on Tuesday, the first strike by writers and the first in Hollywood in 15 years.
The Writers Guild of America’s decision, which could lead to shutdowns of Hollywood studios and networks and disruption of late-night television, came after weeks of negotiations that collapsed, according to the Washington Post. Production companies over compensation for editors and other issues like using artificial intelligence in scripts.
The industry’s first strike since 2007 began Tuesday afternoon by writers outside 10 major studios in Los Angeles and Peacock Newfront and will begin Wednesday at its Manhattan headquarters in New York, the Washington Post reported.
As for the reasons for the strike, the union says that while budgets for soap operas have increased, the book’s share of that money has decreased, the Associated Press reported.
The union also says the short-term use of streaming services for small employees, known in the industry as “microrooms,” makes steady income more difficult, according to the agency.
The number of writers working for union minimum wage has also increased from a third to half over the past decade. The association says there is no minimum protection for comedy writers.
“Many writers in television crews work for minimum wage, regardless of their experience, and these wages do not keep pace with inflation,” the union declared in a statement released in March.
Before announcing the start of the strike, the union said on Twitter: “The responses from production companies and studios have been grossly inadequate given the existential crisis facing writers,” the Washington Post reported.
The union added that the strike follows six weeks of negotiations with “Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Discovery Warner, NBCUniversal, Paramount and Sony.”
The announcement of the strike disrupted Monday night’s Met Gala, where several celebrities voiced support for the Writers Guild as they walked the red carpet at the event, which focuses on the extravagant designs worn by Hollywood’s elite.
If the 15-year-old strike lasts several months, it could disrupt the broadcast of fall TV shows and overwhelm a lineup of movies and content slated for release in the coming years, the newspaper said.
“Coffee evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Hardcore creator. Infuriatingly humble zombie ninja. Writer. Introvert. Music fanatic.”