The Writers Strike: The 2007 Revolution That Changed Hollywood History

The Writers Strike 2007 and Why It’s Still Relevant Today

In an uncanny parallel to the Writers Strike 2007, the leisure trade finds itself as soon as once more engulfed in turmoil as writers take to the picket strains.

The current Writers Strike, which is interrupting American movie, tv, and digital media, is concentrated on streaming media residuals and synthetic intelligence.

As scribes barricade themselves with placards demanding truthful compensation and inventive autonomy, the echoes of the previous resound, stirring up unresolved tensions between the Writers Guild of America labor union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

This article appears again on the notorious writers strike 2007 and explores the way it’s related to the writing group and media shoppers at this time.

The Writers Strike: The 2007 Revolution That Changed Hollywood History

The 2007 Writers Guild of America Strike

On November 5 2007, screenwriters from the Writers Guild of America (WGA), a collective union of American writers, took to the streets of Los Angeles to protest towards tv companies, together with: 

  • CBS
  • MGM
  • Lionsgate
  • The Weinstein Company
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • NBC Universal
  • Starz
  • Sony Pictures 
  • Paramount Pictures
  • Warner Bros 
  • News Corporation

But why? 

For a long time earlier than the strike, WGA had been protesting towards a recurring concern with the distribution of cash within the enterprise. 

In 1985, writers went on strike over the house video market, the place distribution corporations argued that the supply and manufacturing of those dwelling movies have been costly, that means writers have been left quick modified for his or her work. 

The sample continued as new types of media have been launched, which led to the 100-day Hollywood Writers Strike 2007. 

The strike sought to extend the funding for writers, which was confirmed to be considerably decrease than the income of those giant studios. Screenwriters felt as if their work was seen as inferior within the grand scheme of manufacturing, although the consequences on TV exhibits and motion pictures throughout this protest was but to show in any other case! 

What Happened During the Two Month Strike? 

Writers throughout America carried out a robust walkout, which proved to shake the leisure trade greater than anybody anticipated. With over 60 tv exhibits shutting down and thousands and thousands of {dollars} misplaced for the networks, the native financial system actually took successful. 

During the strike, shoppers and tv lovers in every single place needed to go with out their favourite exhibits, whereas networks aired back-to-back reruns. 

Writers continued protesting for a bigger share of the income being constituted of distribution networks. Some notable faces amongst the protest crowds included, Ben Stiller, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, plus many actors from the solid of Grey’s Anatomy and CSI. 

“The [writers’] deal is ridiculously unfair and anything that anybody can do to call attention to that is good at this stage. It’s miraculously unfair what’s going on, so it’s a no-brainer, you just come out and support it.”

Matthew Perry in 2007

As the strike endured, in style late evening exhibits like Saturday Night Live have been paused for months. As a outcome, unscripted actuality exhibits emerged as a result of producers weren’t in a position to get their fingers on scripts by skilled writers. 

It’s evident how important of a job writers performed within the general manufacturing, engagement, and distribution of the exhibits and movies that have been driving the Los Angeles leisure financial system. Without them, the trade misplaced thousands and thousands, hugely-sponsored award ceremonies went downhill, blockbusters have been delayed, and new exhibits didn’t make it previous their first season. 

How was the Writers Strike 2007 Resolved?

While it felt just like the leisure trade was a fireplace that couldn’t be put out at this level, on February 12 2008, the members of the WGA ultimately voted by a margin of greater than 90% return to work. 

What did they obtain?

The WGA earned a bigger piece of the digital revenues from the productions they scripted. 

What have been the Long-Term Effects of the Writers Strike 2007? 

Although this proves how wanted and how profitable the strike turned out when it comes to giving writers their residual fee phrases, they needed to return to industries that have been inevitably modified. 

Reality TV Shows Gained Momentum

By the time writers had made their manner again to work, actuality exhibits like Deal or No Deal have been having their second and topping the scores every week.

This meant that scripted TV exhibits have been drying out due to the shortage of recent episodes all through the length of the strike. 

Death of the Newbie Writers

While it’s possible you’ll suppose that the shortage of scriptwriters would create alternatives to youthful, less-experienced writers trying to get their foot within the door, it was really the other that happened. 

Writers who had moved up the ranks within the leisure sector have been being introduced again down a stage to fill the sneakers of the writers on strike. Although they needed to take a pay minimize, producers have been extra eager to maintain “seasoned” writers within the enterprise, that means the pathway for newbies was minimize off. 

There have been a number of writers who jumped on the probability to squeeze their manner in by way of the gaps, together with the likes of Nick Bernadone who labored alongside Tina Fey and on quite a few hit Netflix exhibits.

The Birth of Streaming Services

Do you recognize what else occurred in 2007? The Netflix uproar. 

One of the consequences of the strike was it being considerably of a base for the huge progress we have been about to see in streaming companies, corresponding to Hulu and Netflix. 

It grew to become clear to the trade {that a} energy shift was about to happen when the WGA refused to signal a contract that didn’t embrace “new media residuals.” This meant that writers needed to be paid from the exhibits they scripted that ended up on platforms like Netflix, although they weren’t initially made for Netflix. 

How I Met Your Mother is a superb instance of this. The scriptwriters of this in style present have been compensated for the work they did even as soon as it began streaming on Netflix, which skyrocketed its views. 

While it might have initially appeared like actuality TV was about to blow each different present out of the water, the expansion of streaming companies turned this throughout, giving writers their second again.

Are We Still Seeing These Issues within the Industry?

Although the 100 day strike has handed us by over 15 years in the past, are these points nonetheless a darkish cloud over Hollywood? 

At the top of 2022, stories of a writers strike occurring started to loom throughout the Internet as members of the WGA spoke about their dissatisfaction with present contracts. 

While we transfer away from the unique types of distribution from 2007, like DVD residuals, writers at the moment are reflecting on their “next to nothing” pay charges for exhibits on streaming companies. 

The guidelines are a bit totally different for streaming platforms than conventional cable. Viewers are turning to mini-series with hour-long episodes, which require much less writers from the start and leaving little room for brand new writers to make their mark. 

So, the query is, are we again in the identical boat as we have been in 2007? 

In phrases of actuality TV exhibits and blockbuster movies, not a lot. In regards to the inflow of viral collection on Netflix that appear to be marginalizing (or utterly slicing out) dozens of writers, more than likely. 

Overall, there must be a big change in pre-episode compensation for writers to shorten the hole between working and incomes and to permit them to pay their payments and make a sustainable residing from what they love most—being a author! 

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