It appears that the Writers Guild of America (WGA) will call its members to strike beginning Monday, creating a big problem for the industry. Since guild members voted two weeks ago to approve a strike if necessary, no discernable progress has been made by the WGA in their negotiations with studios.
The writers are lobbying for an overall increase in wages and a change to the “per-episode” pay structure of their existing agreement. Series that appear on streaming platforms tend to have fewer episodes per season compared to traditional series that are broadcast on television. Studios are claiming they do not have the resources to increase compensation for the writers, in light of their massive losses from their now questionable investments in streaming.
Exhibitors are unlikely to feel the effect of a strike initially since a writer’s contribution to a movie comes at the beginning of a long production cycle. However, the directors are also considering a strike in support of the writers, which could derail movies currently in production. The concern is that widespread work stoppages could create a bottleneck in production that would have similar effects to the shutdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic.
See also: The 2023 Writers Strike Explained: How We Got Here — and What to Expect (IndieWire)