Hollywood screenwriters’ strikes are often lengthy. The last one lasted 100 days.
NEW YORK — Late-night TV shows including “The Tonight Show” and “The Daily Show” will begin airing again on Tuesday as the league’s screenwriters are annoyed by the dwindling paychecks of the era. Streamers went on strike for the first time in 15 years.
About 11,500 film and television writers represented by the Writers Guild of America put down their pens and laptops after failing to secure new contracts with the trade association representing studios and companies. Hollywood production.
The labor dispute could have a cascading impact on TV and movie productions depending on how long the strike lasts, and it comes as streaming services are coming under increasing pressure from the US. Wall on profits.
Late-night television was the first to feel the collapse, as it did during the 2007 writers’ strike that lasted 100 days.
All the top late-night shows, staffed by writers who write monologues and jokes for their hosts, are instantly plunged into darkness. NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” Comedy Central’s “Daily Show,” ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, CBS’s “The Late Show,” and NBC’s “Late Night” have all scheduled reruns for the week.
NBC did not immediately comment on plans for “Saturday Night Live.” The sketch show is scheduled to air a new episode on Saturday hosted by Pete Davidson.
“Everyone including me is hopeful that both sides can reach an agreement. But I also think the writers’ demands are not unreasonable,” host Stephen Colbert said on “Late Show” on Monday.
“This country is heavily indebted to the unions,” Colbert said.
The impact of the strike on series and scripted films will take longer to notice; Those with completed scripts are allowed to continue filming. During the 2007 strike, the late-night hosts finally returned to broadcasting and improvised their way through the shows.
A late night show won’t be dark. Fox News’ “Gutfeld!” with Greg Gutfeld will continue to air new episodes, Fox said Tuesday.
The Writers’ Association is seeking higher minimum wages, thinner writing rooms, shorter exclusivity contracts and a recalibration of residual wages – all conditions it says have been reduced reduced in the content boom caused by streaming.
“The behavior of companies has created a gig economy within the union workforce,” the WGA said in a statement.
Fences were planned for Tuesday in Los Angeles and New York, including outside the Manhattan building, where NBCUniversal is hosting an event for advertisers for its streaming service, Peacock.
In Los Angeles, the writers plan to perform outside the offices of Walt Disney Co., Netflix, Amazon, Universal, Warner Bros., Paramount, CBS and Sony.
The union of film and television producers, which represents studios and production companies, said it had made an offer with a “generous increase in compensation to writers as well as improved improve remaining streaming.”
The trade association said in a statement that it was prepared to improve its proposal “but was unwilling to do so because of the importance of other proposals still on the table, which the association continued to insist on.” perform.”
The outage has been widely forecast for months. The writers last month voted overwhelmingly to allow the strike, with 98% of members in favor. Writers say their wages haven’t kept up with inflation, TV script rooms have shrunk too much, and the old calculation of how to pay the balance needs to be redrawn.
Streaming has exploded the number of series and movies produced every year, which means more jobs for writers. But writers say they are earning less than before working in more stressful conditions.
The association is seeking more compensation for forward writers. That’s because many pay writers previously made a profit from the backend — like international distribution and licensing — that was largely scrapped at the start of streaming.
More writers – about half – are being paid the minimum, up 16% over the past decade.
Hollywood’s trade association said Monday that the main crux of a deal revolves around the so-called small room — the association is looking for a minimum number of scribes per screenwriter’s room — and the duration of the deal. labor contract.
The association has said there should be more flexibility for screenwriters as they sign on to series that tend to be shorter-lived than the standard 20-plus-episode airing season.
Many studios and production companies are cutting spending. The Walt Disney Company is eliminating 7,000 jobs. Warner Bros. Discovery is cutting costs to reduce debt. Netflix has driven spending growth.
Movies will take longer to hit, and if the strike lasts all summer, the fall TV schedule could be upended. Meanwhile, not having writers available to rewrite can significantly affect quality.
The James Bond film “Quantum of Solace” was one of many films rushed into production during the 2007-2008 strike with what Daniel Craig called “the raw portion of a script.”
Craig later recounted: “Once I was trying to rewrite scenes – and I was not a writer.
With a long-awaited outing, screenwriters rushed to receive scripts and studios sought to prepare their processes to keep churning out content for at least the short term. .
David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, said last month: “We are assuming the worst from a business perspective. “We are prepared. We already have a lot of content produced.”
Foreign series can also fill the void. “We have a huge selection of upcoming shows and movies from around the world,” said Ted Sarandos, co-CEO of Netflix.
However, the WGA strike may be just the beginning. Contracts for both the Directors Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ association, are set to expire in June. Some of the same issues surrounding the streaming business model will affect those sessions. The DGA is set to begin negotiations with AMPTP on May 10.
Writer David Bauder of AP Media in New York contributed to this report.