The WGA authorized a strike if the current collective bargaining agreement that expires on May 1st isn’t renewed. Over 96% of the union voted to authorize.
I won’t get into the dirty details of why/what the issues are, but instead explore the ramifications for the entertainment industry and us consumers (I am still one of you you know!).
If the writers strike, it’s not going to be pretty. It happened in 2007 and shutdown production on a lot of daily and weekly television, halted new film work, and left a lot of writers scrambling for loans to bridge the gap financially on what became a 3 month ordeal.
Producers are already preparing advertisers for the potential of the fall television schedule being disrupted. Already written film production would continue, but no re-writes could be made, causing quality to suffer. No new film projects could be written (at least not for studios). Topical daily and weekly shows, like Saturday Night Live and the late night talks shows on the major networks would simply shutdown.
It’s something that’s worth keeping an eye on. If there is a strike, even a short one, the two sides have to heal before they trust again.
As a writer, I feel for the union, they want decent health care and a fair shake when it comes to royalties, especially when compared to the Directors and Actors. But I do feel like they need to meet in the middle, my understanding is the two sides are pretty far apart at this point and have a week to hash it out. Hopefully cooler heads prevail and we get to keep seeing the hilarious political satire that the current regime leaves hanging out there for the picking.