Writers Guild of America strike continues as shows halt production, celebs show support

"Abbott Elementary," "Saturday Night Live" and other shows have halted production as WGA writers across the country protest for fair compensation.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike began this week and writers in the industry halted all work as they picket in New York City and Los Angeles.

This latest development in TV and Film (and the first writers strike in 15 years) will have a major impact on the entertainment industry. Current shows and many set to air later this year are stalled while writers protest for better compensation in the streaming era.

Some of the biggest shows on television right now have already felt the effects of the strike, Variety reports. Rating hits and critical favorites like “Abbott Elementary,” “The Talk” and “Saturday Night Live” have all halted work throughout the various stages of production, while all late-night talk shows have gone completely dark.

Hollywood Writers Go On Strike In Dispute Over Payments For Streaming Services
Members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) East hold signs as they walk for the second day on the picket line outside of Netflix’s New York office on May 3, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

As theGrio previously reported, major celebrities as early as Monday have been showing support for the WGA. Two days into the strike, even more have voiced and shown support, including industry titans like Shonda Rhimes.

During a BAFTA tribute ceremony, the “Scandal” creator and Shondaland CEO reflected on the strike in response to a question. “I am a writer on strike right now,” she said, per The Hollywood Reporter. “To have somebody devalue art, it’s bad enough as it is right now. That’s happening everywhere. But for writers to not be able to make a living wage while making a television show or making a movie is a problem.”

“Abbott Elementary” creator-star-writer Quinta Brunson and comedian-actress-writer Wanda Sykes physically showed their support by attending protests over the past two days, according to People. TV writer, producer and actress Franchesca Ramsey also attended the protests, sharing a Twitter video that breaks down exactly what lead to the WGA strike. “The writers behind some of your favorite movies and TV shows are struggling to pay their rent,” she explains.

As theGrio previously reported, the current writers strike kicked off on Tuesday at midnight after the guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) failed to come to an agreement.

BAFTA Honours Shonda Rhimes
Shonda Rhimes speaks onstage during the BAFTA Honours Shonda Rhimes event at the Midnight Theatre & Hidden Leaf Restaurant on May 3, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for BAFTA)

According to USA Today, the entire landscape of writing as a profession in the industry has completely shifted since streaming. Heretofore, writers were paid on a per-episode basis as well as through residuals and royalties when shows went into syndication.

In the current era of television, writers’ rooms are smaller, episode counts are significantly lower, and streaming residuals fail to remotely compare to broadcast, Ramsey notes in her video. “Make no mistake, we’ve got a long road ahead of us, but we’re prepared to fight for the profession that we love.”

More information on the WGA and the strike can be found on the WGA site.

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