Wednesday, August 15, 2018

What's Next For the Writers' Strike

by Sheena B (writer), Stafford, December 17, 2007


From TV to film, the members of the Writers' Guild of America are controlling the future of entertainment through the writers' strike.

The TV and film industry are in a state of mayhem with the writer’s strike still in full effect. The strike, which has been going strong since November 5, has put a surprising halt to many of TV’s top rated programming, late night talk shows, as well as some movie productions.

The 12,000 members, who make up the Writer’s Guild of America, are resulting to picket lines and strike chants due to unpaid fees from residuals with DVD sales, and online based media. Before the strike, talks were exchanged between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers regarding new contracts that would satisfied the union for money received from DVD sales, but the two sides could not come up with an amicable amount, resulting in the strike. The AMPTP claims that writers were already compensated from digital downloads and that a deal with Internet streaming have been made on the day the strike went into effect.

This is not the first time the WGA and production studios butt heads on money matters. In 1988, The Writers’ Guild went on strike due to the video tape industry, in which writers felt they were not getting the money they deserved over video sales.

The strike has caused a multitude of issues that affected the entire television industry. The first to feel the pinch was late- night talk shows, which rely on writers for their scripts and jokes. There may be some hope for late-night TV as show hosts Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien are going back to work next month, whether the strike continues or not.

The next to stop production was sitcoms and primetime dramas. While some shows already shut down production, such as “Desperate Housewives” and “Grey’s Anatomy”, others, such as “October Road” slowly winding down their production to accommodate the writers’ strike.

While primetime television gradually going downhill, the film industry is unhindered by the strike. Several films have been halted, including the sequel to “The Da Vinci Code”.

With this surge, viewers have seen little disruption from the strike. Since the holidays are upon us, many shows would begin the short run of repeats before the second half of the season starts back up in January. That will not be the case this time around. Instead of seeing noteworthy shows returning to finish out their season, a new crop of reality shows will be hogging the spotlight, which could hurt major networks if the new shows cannot attract viewers.

Programming and advertising sales are the next to go under as pilot episodes for new shows and upfront presentations for advertisers are either scrapped or postponed. .

Award shows could also be affected due to lengthy scripts used for its telecasts. With the Golden Globes coming in January, it is hard to imagine what would occur if the strike is continuing. Would there even be a show? Only time will tell.

As 2008 quickly coming upon us, what will the outcome between the writers and producers bring? Will the producers give the revenue the writers deserve or will selfishly continue to let the strike go on? Will our beloved shows return next year with new tales to tell or will viewers be forced to watch useless reality shows for months to come? Well, as the saying goes, only time will tell.

About the Writer

Sheena B is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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