A WGA Strike is a genuine possibility for the Industry, bringing back the difficulties of the 2008 strike. Many issues were not resolved to the WGA’s satisfaction. The Media Landscape is shifting so dramatically (pardon the pun) that the three-year negotiation periods of the major unions can no longer account for massive change in both consumer behavior as well as technological advances.
According to Rob Long, a veteran comedy writer running the Kevin James Show, part of the problem is that the writers are always fighting the last war. The 2007 clash was motivated in part by the resentment many writers felt at being cheated out of their share of the video market back in the 1980s, and the current standoff is motivated, in part, by what was not achieved in 2007-08.
“You have this explosion of streaming video and all these new buyers, but you don’t have a corresponding revolution in the way writers think about the future,” he said. “People want to go on strike to repeal the future, which you can’t do. No one really wants to say the truth, which is that residuals, payments for viewings of your written work, is an outdated, outmoded and completely irrelevant metric for how people are going to get paid in Hollywood from now on.”
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