As the 11,500 members of the Writers Guild (WGA) begin their third week on the picket line, the strike shows no signs of weakening. On the contrary, the effort to win a decent pay formula that keeps up with inflation is bolstered every day by new voices of solidarity.

Writers Guild members picket Netflix in Los Angeles, May 2, 2023.

Representing Hollywood drivers and prop warehouse workers, Teamsters Local 399 Secretary-Treasurer Lindsay Dougherty spoke at a strike rally May 3: “If we all want to get what’s ours, we are going to have to fight for it tooth and nail. If you throw up a picket line, those f— trucks will stop, I promise you.” Drivers have made good on Dougherty’s promise. (Los Angeles Times, May 12)

Members of other unions representing entertainment industry workers, including the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), have joined the picket lines. Numerous unions are listed as strike supporters on the WGA web site. (wga.org)

A long list of celebrities have voiced support for the strike, from late night talk show hosts to film actors to comedians, including those whose shows are affected by the strike. Many have walked the line with striking writers.

The strike first impacted talk shows, which depend on writers for material and are not taped far in advance. Now streaming shows and cable and network programs have been affected. Soap operas could be next, and eventually theatrical film production will be halted if the powerful strike continues.

The Tony Awards were not going to be televised as scheduled June 11, but the WGA agreed not to picket the show only after its producers agreed not to use any scripted content.

With the technology of how programs are created shifting towards streaming, “minirooms” and other cost-cutting production methods, WGA members have watched their incomes fall. This has driven them to strike to force the entertainment industrial complex to improve pay formulas.

Workers understand the need to back the strike. To quote the old union slogan, “An injury to one is an injury to all.”

Martha Grevatt

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Martha Grevatt

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