The writers’ strike: Why are they striking? When will they be back? What does this mean for all of your favorite shows?


Photo used with permission from Wikimedia Commons

Protesters and writers from the Writers Guild of America strike and protest for higher writer and director wages.

The Writers Guild of America represents 11,500 writers and on May 2, they went on strike.

In the past, writers and directors have received something called residual payments, which are similar to royalties. These royalties mean that every time a piece of their work airs, writers receive a percent of the profit made. However, the rise of streaming services has caused streaming services to become reluctant to pay writers the same residual payments.

In fact, entertainment companies are utilizing “minirooms,” in which companies ask writers to create a series, however, because it’s not announced as a full show, studios are able to pay writers less money. This leaves these writers with an unstable job and income that the WGA no longer finds acceptable.

Shows like The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live have been running reruns, and “consumers really won’t notice anything for a while,” chief executive of Paramount Global, Bob Bakish said in a New York Times article.

Even after the scripts are written, strikes like this can slow the release of a show during filming and production. Shows like Stranger Things, Abbott Elementary and Cobra Kai should be expecting major delayed releases of new seasons if writers do not return soon. “I do feel that I’m kind of annoyed by it because it’s just a way for me to have a fun time and enjoy like the story but now that they’re having the strike it’s just inconvenient but I don’t know much about the topic so if they’re doing it for a good reason then it’s cool,” sophomore Daksh Badri said.

This movement has gained significant supporters from celebrities like Lin-Manuel Miranda, John Leguizamo, Tina Fey and others. This support includes tweets of encouragement with the trending #wgastrong, to joining fellow writers in protests on the streets. For example, Miranda posted on social media about his participation in the protests by providing doughnuts to strikers on his Instagram story. Celebrities Wanda Sykes, Bob Odenkirk and Amy Schumer joined fellow protestors on the streets while celebrities such as John Mulaney, Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon have canceled upcoming shows and projects as a stand of solidarity.

Currently, the WGA has made no official announcement of their return, simply saying they won’t return until progress is made but they are open and ready for negotiations, according to recent tweets.