Hollywood Writers Strike to Save the Entertainment Industry from Further Corporate Destruction (w/ Sasha Stewart)
Hollywood writers represented by the Writers Guild of America, East, and the Writers Guild of America, West, are on strike for the first time since 2007-08. As Alex Press writes in Jacobin, "The WGA (West and East) called the strike just before midnight on May 1, with its leadership unanimously voting for a work stoppage after six weeks of negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) over a new three-year contract that covers some 11,500 film and television writers. Announcing its decision, the union said that the bargaining table responses of the AMPTP, which consists of Amazon, Apple, Discovery-Warner, Disney, NBC Universal, Netflix, Paramount, and Sony, had 'been wholly insufficient given the existential crisis writers are facing.'" Even though overall production budgets have risen in the past decade, writer pay has declined, and the rise of streaming services has translated to lower residuals for writers, shorter paid work periods and more precarious employment, etc., with studios even threatening to replace more essential creative labor with AI software.
In this mini-cast, we speak about what led to the writers' strike, and get an update from the picket line, with Sasha Stewart, a WGA-East council member and Writers Guild Award nominated TV writer, producer, and creator. With a background in improv and sketch comedy, Sasha has written for, among other productions, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore (Comedy Central) and The Fix with Jimmy Carr (Netflix), and she contributes to McSweeney's and The New Yorker. She was also the Head Writer on the YA political thriller podcast Daughters of DC (iHeartRadio).
Additional links/info below...
- Sasha's website and Twitter page
- WGA-East website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram
- WGA-West website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram
- Entertainment Community Fund
- Josh Gondelman, The Nation, "Writers Like Me Have Shut Down Hollywood. Here’s Why"
- Alex Press, Jacobin, "TV Writers Say They’re Striking to Stop the Destruction of Their Profession"
- Mandalit del Barco & Becky Sullivan, NPR, "The Best Picket Signs of the Hollywood Writers' Strike"
- Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Hollywood Studios Are Making Billions Off Underpaid Animators"
- Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Entertainment Workers Discuss the Dark Side of Hollywood and Historic IATSE Strike Vote"
- Matt Pearce, The Los Angeles Times, "AI Deepfakes of Anthony Bourdain’s Voice Are Only a Taste of What’s Coming"
Permanent links below...
- Working People Patreon page
- Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show!
- Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
- In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
- The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page
Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)
- Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song