Writers Guild strike over pay, jobs enters ninth week

By Sara Lobman
July 10, 2023
Militant/Sara Lobman

NEW YORK — More than 100 members and supporters of the Writers Guild of America rallied outside City Hall here June 22. Some 11,500 WGA members nationwide have been on strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers for over eight weeks. They are fighting for better pay; higher residuals — a small percentage of the profits made from reruns — for streamed programs, not just broadcast and cable; and a return to the use of traditional “writers’ rooms” where staff writers work together on scripts and receive regular pay.

“They’re trying to turn us into gig or freelance workers,” Writers Guild member Molly Ramírez told the Militant. “Without writers’ rooms, it’s nearly impossible for newer writers to learn the industry. It used to be that staff writers were part of the whole process, from preparing the script to post-production. Today, it’s not uncommon for writers to be promoted without having any experience on a set. This is creating huge issues in our industry’s pipeline.

“Writing isn’t just words on a page, it’s thinking quickly on your feet and adjusting — addressing issues that can arise on set or in the editing process,” she said. “And it’s collaborating with actors, the director and design departments to make the story the clearest, most entertaining it can be.”