US TV writers’ strike threatens to affect Autumn shows

A number of Autumn shows could be delayed. 

The Writers' Guild of America is planning to strike if an agreement about wages is not met. 

The WGA voted to authorise strike action against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television producers due to a dispute about costs and exclusivity. 

The WGA (which has around 12,000 members) looks after writers' interests such as pension and healthcare, and is now claiming that writers aren't paid enough despite the recent boom in TV popularity.

Members say that, whilst TV has become more profitable, writers have not seen the benefits in their pay, with many claiming that they have actually seen a decrease in wages.

With the US TV industry now favouring shorter, 10-episode seasons instead of the previous 24-episode runs as well increased time between seasons, writers have said that their wages have been stretched further due to earning on an episode-by-episode basis.

Another issue that has been flagged is exclusivity, which forces writers to stick to one show at a time instead of being able to work on a number at once.

Writers can now be tied to a contract that lasts for years, meaning they're unable to work on other scripts even if the series goes on a break.

The last time the WGA went on strike, in 2007, a number of different TV shows and films were affected - most notably James Bond film Quantum of Solace, which started filming without a completed script. 

If a new strike happens, shows that are planned to return in the Autumn, such as The Walking Dead, could see delays. 

There is also speculation that any strike action could affect Netflix shows like Jessica Jones, which is expected to come back for a second outing.

If no agreement is reached, the strike could go in effect on May 2nd.

Source: NME

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