People in Hollywood Fight for their Writes


People march at the beginning of the Writer Guild strikes on May 2.

Maddox Karnes, Arts and Entertainment editor

If you found yourself worrying about not being able to stop binge watching your favorite show, you may not have to anymore as Hollywood undergoes the first writer strike in over 16 years.

The Writers Guild of America, the union that represents 11,500 writers in Hollywood, began going on strike on May 2 in response to being unsatisfied with the wages for writers as well as wanting some form of royalty payment for reruns of shows. The union also touched on issues surrounding the rapidly changing AI and the threat it poses to their jobs, but the main focus of the strike has to do with salary.

Multiple protests have since occurred at Paramount, Netflix and Disney Studios.

That’s a lot of words and numbers. You’re probably asking, “what does any of this mean?” Fair question. Well, the answer for the future may be solved by patterns from the past.

The most recent writers strike happened back in 2007. The protest ended up lasting 100 days and Los Angeles took a $2.1 billion hit to its economy according to The New York Times.

If that seems like a lot of money, that’s because of the domino effect the strike had on the industry. Many movies and shows came to a halt in production which caused the termination of countless people in Hollywood. The mass delaying of projects isn’t exclusive to the 2007 protests either; the longest writers strike in history happened in 1988 and yielded similar results – and it looks like the current one is no different.

So far “Stranger Things,” “Marvel,” “Abbot Elementary” and “Yellowjackets” are some of the biggest franchises – among many others – that have been halted from the strikes, and more are projected to in the near future.

The gravity of this rebellion has gathered attention from the people who the writers do their work for – actors.

Lisa Ann Walter, who stars in “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Parent Trap” and the recently halted “Abbott Elementary” fame, has attended multiple rallies in support of writers since May 2.

In response to an article by Deadline Hollywood about law enforcement at a strike outside of Warner Bros, Walter made a sarcastic tweet that said, “Yeah! Pipe down, America! Accept rampant Corporate Greed quietly!”

Walter isn’t the only big name celebrity taking action. Quinta Brunson, who stars in, executive produces and created “Abbott Elementary” has attended multiple protests alongside Walter. 

One of the most outward examples of support from big name celebrities has come from the queen of comedy herself, Jennifer Coolidge. On May 7, Coolidge received the Comedic Genius Award at the 2023 MTV Movie and TV Awards and dedicated her acceptance speech to the fight of Hollywood writers.

“Almost all great comedy starts with great writers… I stand here before you tonight with my sisters and brothers from the WGA that are fighting right now,” Coolidge said. “[They’re] fighting for the rights of artists everywhere.”

The 2007 strikes ended with the Writers Guild coming out victorious in all their demands from payment to jurisdiction over media. However, they did so after protesting for approximately three months. Celebrities like Walter, Brunson and Coolidge are hoping this time things won’t need to be as extensive and have stayed persistent in their allyship.

“They wanna go up against writers in a messaging war?” Walter tweeted. “Lol.”