Writers Guild Of America goes for a pen-down against AMP

Writers Guild Of America goes for a pen-down against the Association of Motion Pictures for a better pay package as their contract expired on Monday as a part of the Writer’s Strike 2023. This is the first time in 15 years that The WGA group has gone on a strike against the Association of Motion Pictures demanding better compensation and protection.

Writers Guild Of America
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What is the Writers Guild Of America?

The Writers Guild of America is an association that represents more than 20,000 television and motion picture scriptwriters. The association was formed in 1921 and the members of the association comprise of those who work for creating the scripts for TV shows, movies, podcasts, documentaries and news outlets apart from others.

They are currently negotiating contract terms with the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which again is a group representing more than 350 individual television and film companies. The contract is renegotiated every three years, meaning there have been five contract negotiations between the groups since the last time WGA went on strike in 2007.

Writers Guild Of America – Reason for the strike

As per the news interaction, there are two key issues surrounding the Writers Guild Of America’s contract demands and what might prompt a walkout: streaming services and artificial intelligence. The WGA says that even though streaming services initially created more jobs, studios have kept costs down and wages low, despite increasing inflation. Streaming shows also typically have shorter seasons with longer breaks than their network counterparts, meaning less pay for a job.

The median screenwriter pay is the same today as it was in 2018. After factoring in inflation, that’s equivalent to a 14% wage decrease. The WGA also said that screenwriters who are making less money are more likely to be asked to do the additional uncompensated grunt work like script rewrites and “mini rooms,” the practice of a small group workshopping a script for low pay before it’s picked up for production.

As far as how AI factors in, the WGA wants contractual safeguards that protect against the use of AI to take work – and, in turn, payment – from writers.

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