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Hollywood Writers Strike

The Writers Guild of America began a strike yesterday after talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers failed to reach an agreement on a new contract. The 11,500-member WGA argues pay has not kept up with the rapid pace of two technological changes: the rise of streaming services and artificial intelligence.

The WGA argues streaming shows tend to have shorter seasons, meaning writers get paid less for each job, and residual income—royalties collected when shows are reaired—are much lower with streaming. The average writer-producer pay has declined by 23%, when adjusted for inflation, over the past decade. The WGA also wants AI safeguards, such as ensuring human involvement. The AMPTP rejected both demands with counterproposals. WGA’s proposals would gain writers a projected $429M per year, while the AMPTP’s counterproposal is an increase of about $86M. See all demands here.

Live late-night shows will be the first affected, followed by network TV. The WGA’s last strike occurred 15 years ago and lasted 100 days, resulting in a $2.1B loss to California’s economy.

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