In Good News for Sitcoms (and Workers’ Rights), the WGA Isn’t Striking After All
In case you weren’t aware, a pretty major situation has been percolating in the entertainment industry over the past month. Unsatisfied with the conditions of their work and employment, the Writers’ Guild of America went to the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers to renegotiate the terms of their collective contract. A bitter standoff summarily broke out, with the possibility of another writers’ strike — you may remember the last freeze-out, which stretched from late 2007 into early 2008 — looming on the horizon. Today brings a resolution to the saga of the last few weeks, and in true Hollywood fashion, everyone’s getting a happy ending.
Deadline excitedly reported (their headline starts with “DEAL!!”) that in the wee small hours of last night, the WGA and AMPTP narrowly averted a strike by hashing out a new agreement. Now pending approval from the comprising members of the guild, the updated deal would raise minimums for low-level writers, bolster their health care coverage in the event of any possible future shake-ups to health policy, and provide more fair compensation for the increasingly common phenomenon of short seasons of TV. The biggest victory, however, just might be assured job protection while on parental leave, whether paternal or maternal. It just got a lot easier to live as a career writer.
The people, then, have cause to rejoice today. In an immediate sense, we commonfolk can take relief in the confirmation that our precious TV programs won’t be delayed by another strike. And in a more principle-focused sense, it’s also for the best that workers will now receive payment a bit more proportional to the exertion of their labor. A small triumph over the crushing machinery of capitalism and we won’t have to wait for new Westworld? Good news all around!