Writers’ strike hits Day 100

As the Hollywood writers’ strike hits its 100-day mark, a resolution is still a long way away. 

Catch-up: The Writers Guild of America (WGA), the union representing about 11,500 scribes behind American film and TV, has been on strike since May 2 after failing to reach a new deal with the AMPTP, the body representing the studios and streamers. 

  • SAG-AFTRA, the guild representing Hollywood actors, followed suit on July 14 after also failing to reach a new deal.

Driving the news: For a brief moment, things were looking up. Reps for both the WGA and the AMPTP met Friday to discuss resuming negotiations… which didn’t turn out well after both sides released statements calling each other out before the meeting even took place.

  • From editors to animal actors, the production stoppage is squeezing workers across the industry. Over US$15 million has been raised so far for jobless actors with Meryl Streep, George Clooney, and Dwayne Johnson all chipping in.  

Why it’s happening: The hot-button topic has been the issue of AI replacement. The fears are well-grounded, as writers could see bots (trained on scripts written by humans) take over screenwriting gigs, while actors could lose out on roles to digital replicas of other actors. 

  • Disney just launched an AI task force, Netflix is hiring for a big AI role, and a previous deal offered to actors included giving studios ownership over AI scans of performers. 

Why it matters: Beyond forcing us to wait longer for a new season of The Bear, these strikes could give us a glimpse into a future of increased labour action and fights for worker protections due to fears surrounding AI.—QH