- The Writers Guild of America announced the strike after talks broke down
- It’s the first time in 15 years that production teams have stopped working
Jimmy Fallon has lent his support to Hollywood writers as they prepare to go on strike for the first time in fifteen years in a dispute over fair wages.
Speaking at the Met Gala last night, the late-night host told a reporter that the strike could affect his staff and crew, but added, “I never got a show without my book.”
Fallon – with Stephen ColbertAnd Jimmy Kimmel And Seth Meyers – All broadcasts will be taken off immediately. The strike, announced by the Writers Guild of America, marks the first time in 15 years that production teams have stopped work.
The last strike lasted 100 days and cost Hollywood $2.1 billion.
“The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” and other late-night talk shows use teams of writers to write topical jokes. The strike means that new episodes will no longer be available during traditional television timeslots or on streaming services.
But despite the turmoil, Fallon has thrown his support behind his writing team.
“You know, I hope there will be no strike.” I support my book, but we have a lot of staff and crew who will be affected by this,” he said outside the Met Gala in New York City.
“But (the writers) have to get a fair deal, so I’m going to do everything I can to support them and hope there won’t be a strike and they can come to an agreement,” he added.
I need my book. I need them real bad. I never got a show without my book.
During the 2007 strike, the late night hosts got back on the air and brought in improvised material. Jay Leno wrote his own monologues – a move that angered the syndicate leadership, while others filled airtime with other antics.
In one episode during the strike, Conan O’Brien spent time twirling the wedding ring on his desk for as long as possible in an attempt to make “television history”.
A big issue that Hollywood writers fret over is the issue of streaming services — and how it has affected labor economics, causing people to make less money and work under more stressful conditions.
Myers, a union member, has also been vocal in his support of the book.
‘I love writing.’ I love writing for television. “I love writing this show,” he said Monday afternoon. I love that we come up with an idea of what we want to do each day and work on that all afternoon and then I’m glad to be here. Nobody has the right to get a job in show business.
But for those who have work, they are entitled to fair compensation. They are entitled to earn a living. I think it is a very reasonable requirement to be determined by the guild. I support those demands.
Other immediately hit shows include Real Time with Bill Maher, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and Saturday Night Live — which was scheduled to be hosted by Pete Davidson on Saturday, the final night of the season.
One SNL star told Deadline: “We have to think about our crew, too.
I am completely for the writers, and I want the writers to get what they deserve and need, but I don’t want our crew to be out of work. We cannot make this art without each other.
The decision is the culmination of a months-long battle with studios over wages in the broadcast era.
The WGAWest Board of Directors and the WGAEast Board, acting upon the power vested in them by their membership, have voted unanimously to call a strike, effective at 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, May 2,” the union announced on Twitter.
They said the decision was made after six weeks of talks with Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, Paramount and Sony.
Although our negotiating committee initiated this process with the goal of achieving a fair deal, the studios’ responses have been wholly inadequate given the existential crisis the writers face.
The strike will start tomorrow afternoon. #WGAStrong #WGAStrike”
In a statement, they said the writers were facing an “existential crisis”.
“Corporate behavior has created a labor-based economy within the unionized workforce, and its steadfast stance in these negotiations has demonstrated a commitment to further devaluing the writing profession,” the WGA said in a statement.
From their refusal to guarantee any level of weekly employment on episodic television, to creating a “daily rate” in comedy variety, to stalling on free labor for screenwriters and on artificial intelligence for all writers, they’ve closed the door on them. workforce and opened the door to writing as a completely independent profession.
“Such a deal could never have been contemplated by this membership.”
The Motion Picture and Television Producers Alliance, the trade union that negotiates on behalf of studios and production companies, indicated late Monday that negotiations did not reach an agreement before the expiration of the current contract.
AMPTP said it made an offer that included “generous increases in compensation for writers as well as improvements to tailings flow.”
In a statement, AMPTP said it was willing to improve its bid “but was unwilling to do so because of the volume of other proposals still on the table that the union continues to insist on.”
A labor dispute can have a cascading effect on television and film productions depending on how long the strike lasts. But a large-scale shutdown was expected for several months due to the scope of the row.
Last month, writers voted overwhelmingly to allow the strike, with 98 percent of members in favor.
The dispute is over how to compensate writers in an industry where streaming has changed the rules of Hollywood economics.
The book says they don’t get paid enough, the TV clerk’s rooms are shrunk too much, and the old calculus of how the leftovers are paid should be redrawn.
Read more: Why did late-night hosts Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and Seth Meyers stop airing and bring back their show this week?
“The very survival of our profession is at stake,” the union said.
Broadcasting has increased the number of series and films being produced annually, which means more job opportunities for writers. But WGA members say they make much less money and work under more stressful conditions.
Showrunners on streaming series only get 46 percent of the pay that contestants receive on broadcast series, the WGA claims.
The syndicate is seeking more compensation on the front of deals.
Many backdoor writers have historically benefited by — like syndication and international licensing — largely being phased out from the start of broadcasting.
More writers—about half of them—are getting paid minimum rates, an increase of 16 percent over the past decade. The use of so-called mini-rooms for writers rose.
AMPTP said Monday that the primary sticking points in the deal revolve around those small rooms — the union is looking for a minimum number of clerks for each writer room — and the duration of the hiring restrictions.
The union said more flexibility is needed for writers when they are contracted for series, which tend to be limited and short-lived from a broadcast season that was previously over 20 episodes.
At the same time, studios are under increasing pressure from Wall Street to cash in on streaming services.
Many studios and production companies are cutting spending.
The Walt Disney Company cut 7,000 jobs. Warner Bros. Discovery is cutting costs to reduce its debt. Netflix has injected breaks into spending growth.
When Hollywood writers go on strike, it’s often been a long stretch.
In 1988, the WGA strike lasted 153 days. The last WGA strike lasted 100 days, starting in 2007 and ending in 2008.
Series and scripted films will take longer to be affected.
But if the strike continues through the summer, fall schedules could be reversed.
Meanwhile, the unavailability of a book for rewriting can have a significant impact on quality.
The James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace” was one of several films made quickly during the 2007-2008 strike with what Daniel Craig called the “bare bones of the script.”
“Then there was a writers’ strike and there was nothing we could do,” Craig later recounted.
We couldn’t hire a writer to finish it. I tell myself “never again” but who knows? I’ve been trying to rewrite scenes – and I’m not a writer.
With a pullout long anticipated, writers scrambled to get the scripts out and studios sought to prepare their pipelines to continue producing content for at least the short term.
Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav said. Discovery, last month: “We assume the worst from a business perspective.”
We have prepared ourselves. We have a lot of content produced.
A series abroad could fill some of the void.
“If there is one, we have a huge base of shows and movies coming from all over the world,” Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said on the company’s April earnings call.
However, the WGA strike may be just the beginning.
The contracts of both the Directors Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ union, expire in June.
Some of the same issues around the streaming business model will factor into these bargaining sessions.
The DGA is set to begin negotiations with AMPTP on May 10.