Hollywood writers set to go on strike

Hollywood writers set to go on strike

Hollywood writers set to go on strike Image: Wikimedia

Writers Guild of America could call a strike as early as Tuesday.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) could call a work strike as early as Tuesday if a deal is not reached with companies such as Walt Disney and Netflix.

A strike would be the first by the WGA in 15 years.

Writers are seeking pay increases and changes to industry practices that they say force them to work more for less money.

Half of TV series writers now work at minimum salary levels, compared with one-third in the 2013-14 season, according to WGA statistics.

Caroline Renard, a WGA liaison said: “The way that it’s looking now is that there won’t be a middle class in Hollywood,”

The negotiations take place against a difficult economic backdrop for the industry. Entertainment conglomerates are contending with declining television ad revenue, as traditional TV audiences shrink and advertisers go elsewhere. The threat of a recession also looms.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents Comcast Corp, Disney, Warner Bros Discovery, Netflix and hundreds of production companies, has said it is committed to reaching a fair agreement.

If negotiations fail and a strike does go ahead, late-night shows such as The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Saturday Night Live, which use teams of writers, are expected to immediately stop production.

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Max Greenhalgh