You favourite shows might be about to take a dip in quality, because the Writer's Guild of America just overwhelmingly voted to strike in search of a better deal, according to a letter obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. That matters because the WGA is the union that represents all television and film writers that work with major studios.
Should a walkout occur, it would be on May 2, according to previous statements by the union, should they not strike a deal with the studios. Their contract expires May 1. 6,310 ballots came in with 96.3 percent of members favouring the strike. Last time this happened, only 90.3 percent of voters favoured walking out.
The studios' collective, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, blasted the move.
“The Companies are committed to reaching a deal at the bargaining table that keeps the industry working,” the studios said in a statement to THR. “The 2007 Writers Strike hurt everyone. Writers lost more than $287 million (£230 million) in compensation that was never recovered, deals were canceled, and many writers took out strike loans to make ends meet.”
The AMPTP emphasised that they were still looking to strike a deal, even as the hour approached midnight.
The talks will resume today, now that the Guild knows its members favour a walkout. Last time this happened, in 2007-8, the major sticking point was negotiating a slice of the digital revenues both sides figured were about to become much more important. This time, now that digital revenues have skyrocketed, this doesn't figure to be an easy deal to reach. The writers want a lot, the studios want a lot, and a lot of money is at stake. During the last strike, quality fell off significantly and it cost the economy around £1.6 billion. Safe to say many around town (and indeed around the world) are rooting for a quick resolution.