The Medieval Times

The student news site of Cabell Midland High School

The student news site of Cabell Midland High School

The Medieval Times

The student news site of Cabell Midland High School

The Medieval Times

The Strike


In the realm of entertainment, the writer’s strike has been a profound force that has reshaped the industry’s landscape and highlighted the power dynamics between creators and their employers. Dive into the transformative effects of the writer’s strike and explore its causes, impact on actors and writers and the broader struggle for creative rights. 


A union is a collective of workers who organize to improve their workplace, but there’s more to it than that. The union provides workers with a forum to discuss their wages, working conditions, and more without fear of retribution. Worker unions aim to address the power imbalance in the workplace. Without the members of a union, there is no workplace, no product and no labor performed. A union is a worker’s recognition of these facts. Working people come together, refusing to accept what their employers give them instead of seeking to improve their lives and workplaces. 


One of the primary catalysts for the writer’s strike was the Writer’s Guild of America’s (WGA) longstanding concern over compensation and creative control. The central bone of contention was the writers’ share in the increased revenues from online and digital platforms, which were becoming increasingly popular at the time. Examples of this include Netflix, Hulu, Disney +, Peacock and even A.I. The WGA, backed by numerous writers, sought to renegotiate their contracts to accommodate these changing dynamics. 


The writer’s strike had a profound impact on both actors and writers alike, leaving them without work and disrupting the production of numerous TV shows and films. Not only were they deprived of their livelihood, but it also created a sense of solidarity among workers in the entertainment industry who shared common concerns regarding creative rights and fair compensation. 


A number of demands were made by the WGA, including a higher minimum compensation for all media outlets, an increase in residuals, appropriate compensation for TV series writers during pre-production and post-production, an increase in pension and health contributions, stronger professional standards, and increased protections for writers. 


Beyond the immediate demands for fair compensation, the writer’s strike was a broader struggle for creative rights and recognition. Creators retain the rights to reproduce, distribute, display, perform and alter their work. Writers, as the original creators, sought a greater say in the development and execution of their work. They wished to reclaim agency over their art, and the strike became a platform to rally for their creative autonomy. 


The words of affected individuals helped to gain insight into the effects of the strike. Actor Alec Baldwin, known for his role in “30 Rock,” stated, “The writer’s strike has made us all painfully aware that writers deserve to be compensated for the online exploitation of their work. They are the foundation of any production, and their voices must be heard.” Baldwin’s sentiments encapsulate the essence of the strike, emphasizing the crucial role of writers and the need for their fair treatment. 


Furthermore, writers themselves have spoken out regarding the injustices they faced during the strike. Writer and producer Shonda Rhimes, the creative mind behind popular shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” expressed her frustrations, saying, “Writers deserve to be at the forefront of decision-making when it comes to their work. We pour our hearts and souls into creating these stories and characters, only to be undervalued and overlooked by those who control the industry.” Rhimes’ words echo the sentiment shared by numerous writers who felt their creative voices were being suppressed. 


A notable quote from writer and director Joss Whedon, known for his works in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “The Avengers,” exemplifies this sentiment: “The writer’s strike was a turning point in our industry, highlighting the necessity of acknowledging the creative community’s contribution. It was an assertion of our rights as artists and a reminder that our voices matter.”  Whedon’s words demonstrate the strike’s deeper significance in fostering a collective understanding of the importance of creative rights. 


The writer’s strike stands as a significant milestone in the entertainment industry’s history, marking a critical moment of reckoning for writers and their allies. While the strike resulted in short-term disruptions and hardships, it ultimately paved the way for meaningful change in the realm of creative autonomy and fair compensation.  


By voicing their concerns and asserting their rights, writers and actors made tangible progress toward improved working conditions and more equitable distribution of revenues. 99% of its members voted in favor of ratifying the three-year contract deal agreed upon last month by the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the group that represents studios, streaming services and production companies. The union valued the deal at over a billion dollars. 


As the industry continues to evolve, it is crucial to remember the lessons learned during the writer’s strike and remain vigilant in the fight for creative rights and worker advocacy. 


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