The Writers Guild of America is now on strike starting on May 2 after studios rejected a number of key proposals during negotiations between them and the association.
Among the issues detailed in the WGA’s proposals, as seen here, are concerns over the use of A.I. and the blatant need for fairer practices in terms of residual pay in the streaming era. In response to the former, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP)—which represents major studios (Disney, Warner Bros, etc.) in these negotiations—was revealed to have rejected the guild’s proposal. Instead, the AMPTP “countered by offering annual meetings to discuss advancements in technology.”
As we already detailed in our prior coverage of the strike, there is simply no way to overstate just how crucial writers are to film, TV, and beyond. But if history has shown us anything, it’s that corporations and related entities don’t always have writers’ best interests as a priority. And with A.I. now in the conversation, there’s no reason to trust that such tech won’t be used by those with bad intentions in a doomed attempt at replacing the inimitable human touch that art requires.
This isn’t the first time Hollywood has been in a situation like this one. In November 2007, all 12,000 film and television screenwriters of the American labor unions within the Writers Guild of America went on strike until February 12, 2008. Late-night shows went off the air, movie releases were delayed. and affected shows like Ugly Betty, Heroes, and Girlfriends, saw a major shift in the quality of the content (Girlfriends abruptly ended around this time.)
The same is happening now. Late-night shows are already airing tapings of old shows and production has halted for other fan-favorites like Abbott Elementary and Cobra Kai. What follows is a running list of some of the series that have been confirmed at the time of this writing to have been put on hold in light of the strike. As the list grows, it should show the enormity of the problem while also highlighting how none of what anyone loves, literally zero instances of the art we all cherish, would be possible without writers—they deserve better, and eventually, they will get it.