The Writers Strike Now Affects Stranger Things 5, Blade, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, and More
The next Game of Thrones series has also been put on hold
The large-scale strike of the Writers Guild of America began on May 2, 2023. The union represents many writers in the US film and TV industry, which is why the effects of the current strike are being felt in many ways. In the following, we will inform you about the current state of affairs and the affected films and series.
The WGA last attracted attention with a similar strike in 2007. In the strike, which lasted several months, the authors called for higher royalties for DVD and Internet sales and thus brought about a de facto halt to late-night shows and series productions. In the end, an agreement was found with the powerful Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which includes Walt Disney Studios, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures and streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon.
What They Demand
This time, in addition to demands from authors for higher wages as well as better job security, the so-called Writer's Room is to be given more freedom. This is the place where authors write the scripts and are creative. While this used to actually be a physical location controlled by the showrunner, the creative process in today's screenwriting often takes place in the home office. Film studios ought to hire more writers and thus facilitate the creative process. At present, too few writers are often hired for a project, who are then constantly overworked. A further demand of the WGA concerns the use of artificial intelligence in the creation of scripts: Many fear that in a few years the technology will be so advanced that it will lead to a rapidly dwindling need for human writers, which would make many authors unemployed within a very short time.
So there's a lot at stake for the striking writers, who have been in negotiations with the producers about future working conditions since mid-March. So far, there has been a lot of support from the actors, with many showing solidarity with the strikers. Moreover, some actors are affected by the repercussions themselves, which is why they are also likely to have a great interest in seeing the strike brought to an end as quickly as possible.
The Effects of the Strike
The concrete impact on series and films has been severe so far. One of the most prominent examples is season 5 of "Stranger Things", which cannot be shot as planned, meaning that the show's launch will be postponed. "Blade" with "Green Book" star Mahershala Ali will also likely be unable to begin filming next month as scheduled, which means even the MCU is officially hit by the strike. Additionally, "Game of Thrones" author George R. R. Martin commented on the upcoming spin-off "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight" in a blog post. Martin explained that the project will have to be put on hold for the time being. However, he added that the filming of the second season of "House of the Dragon" is not affected and will continue. Other projects concerned and thus on hiatus are "Cobra Kai" Season 6, "Yellowjackets" Season 3, "Big Mouth" Season 8" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" Season 2. Also halted are productions of "The Handmaid's Tale", HBO's "Hacks" and "Abbott Elementary".
Various talk shows and late-night formats were also among the quickest to be adversely affected. Since the strike began, "Saturday Night Live" has been playing only reruns, and there's been none of the usual nonchalance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" or the "Late Show with Stephen Colbert" either. In the last show before the strike, Colbert already talked about the negotiations between the WGA and the AMPTP and expressed his solidarity with the writers, without whom the show would not be as successful as it is today.
Here's How the Writers Strike Continues
At present, it is not apparent when the parties will reach an agreement. The strikers' concerns have at least made it to the Oval Office so far, since on Monday U.S. President Joe Biden also commented on the current events and hoped that the authors would emerge from the talks with a fair deal.
As you can see, the situation is anything but pleasant for all parties involved and it can only be hoped that the authors will quickly come to an understanding with the producers. Otherwise, it is safe to assume that even more movies and series will be among those affected. We will keep you up to date on further developments!