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Hollywood Celebrities Support Writers Guild of America Strike

  • Culture.org
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  • May 10, 2023
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  • 3 minute read
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Hollywood Celebrities Support Writers Guild of America Strike
Key Takeaways
  • The Writers Guild of America (WGA) is on strike due to disputes over fair pay and the need for updated regulations in the streaming era, impacting late-night and variety television shows.
  • This is the first WGA strike in 15 years, with over 11,500 writers across film, television, and other entertainment forms participating.
  • Numerous celebrities, including Amanda Seyfried, Jimmy Fallon, Drew Barrymore, Natasha Lyonne, and Rob Lowe, have voiced their support for the striking writers and highlighted the importance of writers in the industry.
  • Actors such as Natasha Lyonne, Rob Lowe, Gillian Jacobs, Ike Barinholtz, and Frances Fisher were seen on picket lines outside the offices of studios and streamers in support of the striking writers.
  • The strike has caused several projects to be put on hold or delayed, including the third season of "Abbott Elementary," the final season of "Big Mouth," and season 6 of "Cobra Kai."

 

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) called for a strike on May 2 after negotiations for fair pay and streaming-era regulations broke down with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), who represent most major studios and streaming services.

This is the first WGA strike in 15 years, with over 11,500 writers across film, television, and other entertainment forms participating.

The strike has impacted late-night and variety television, with reality and animated TV remaining the only unaffected genres.

Reasons Behind the Strike

The WGA strike has been triggered by disputes over fair pay and the need for updated regulations in the streaming era.

The growth of streaming services has transformed the entertainment industry, and many writers feel they have not been adequately compensated for their work in this new landscape.

The last writers’ strike in 2007-2008 centered around royalties from DVD sales and lasted 100 days, during which nearly 25% of primetime scripted programming was lost.

Late-Night Shows and Events Impacted

Saturday Night Live (SNL) has gone dark in support of the strike, with Pete Davidson’s return as host no longer happening this weekend.

Multiple US late-night shows have announced they are going on hiatus, including ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” CBS’ “The Late Show,” and NBC’s “Tonight” and “Late Night.” HBO will also cease live production of “Real Time with Bill Maher” and “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver. Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” is also on hiatus.

Multiple US late-night shows have announced they are going on hiatus, including ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” CBS’ “The Late Show,” and NBC’s “Tonight” and “Late Night.” HBO will also cease live production of “Real Time with Bill Maher” and “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver. Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” is also on hiatus.

Celebrities Stand in Solidarity

Numerous celebrities have voiced their support for the strike, including Amanda Seyfried, Jimmy Fallon, Drew Barrymore, Natasha Lyonne, and Rob Lowe.

Seyfried and Fallon highlighted the importance of writers in the industry, with Seyfried emphasizing that everyone needs to be compensated for their work in the streaming era.

Fallon also acknowledged that he wouldn’t have a show without his writers and that he supports them all the way.

Drew Barrymore has stepped down from hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards in solidarity with the striking WGA writers, stating that everything celebrated and honored in movies and television comes from their creation.

The awards show will proceed without a host this year, with Barrymore confirming her return next year via an Instagram post.

Actors Join Picket Lines

On the first day of the WGA strike, actors such as Natasha Lyonne, Rob Lowe, Gillian Jacobs, Ike Barinholtz, and Frances Fisher were seen on picket lines outside the offices of studios and streamers such as Paramount Pictures, Peacock, and Netflix. In New York, SNL’s Aidy Bryant and Sara Ramirez from …And Just Like That were also spotted showing their support for the writers.

On Instagram, Ramirez highlighted the importance of writers in creating content for consumption and performance.

Projects Put on Hold and Delayed

The strike has caused several projects to be put on hold or delayed, including the third season of Emmy-winning “Abbott Elementary,” the final season of Netflix’s animated series “Big Mouth,” and season 6 of “Cobra Kai.”

Other affected projects include Neil Gaiman’s “Good Omens” season 2, Showtime drama “Yellowjackets” season 3, and daily talk show “The Talk,” while the second season of Amazon Prime Video’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” will move forward without the services of executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, who are supporting the guild on strike.

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