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Hollywood Sign (Photo: Evan Symon for California Globe)

Could The WGA be Responsible for the Writer’s Strike?

Americans would rather be entertained than preached to

By J. Mitchell Sances, May 10, 2023 8:43 am

At the beginning of this month, the Writer’s Guild of America officially began their strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. This is the first time since 2007 that these two progressive wings of Hollywood could not reach a deal and sign new contracts.

In a previous editorial, I explained how some of the complaints of the WGA stemmed from woke grievances. The union has ostensibly called out movie and television producers for racism based on the cancellation or failure of some of the race-centric projects being pushed down the public’s throat in the past few years—the cancellation of the film Batgirl starring a Latina in the title role and the failure of the new race-based Lord of the Rings series as just two examples.

Of course there are financial reasons for the strike as well. Previously reported according to Variety, the median WGA member’s salary for 2021 was $260,000. However, a member of the WGA claimed that this figure was misleading. The anonymous WGA member said in response, “There’s little question that that number, if accurate, applied to the minority of Guild members who were actually employed last year. Per usual, the vast majority of the 20,000 (give or take) Guild members (of which I’m one) report no income from Guild signatories (the only employers one is legally allowed to work for) in any given year. If the quoted median figure were accurate, there’d be no need to strike.” If that figure factored in the many guild members not working in 2021, the number would be much lower, perhaps closer to the median California resident’s salary of $81,000.

Rob Long, a self-described “basically conservative Episcopalian, descended from a long line of union-busting industrialists,” and a somewhat reluctant member of the WGA, explained how the failures of the new woke projects in Hollywood have led to less pay and less desirable working conditions for writers. With so many projects never making it to screen or being swiftly cancelled, the production companies are losing, in some cases, millions of dollars. They spend money producing progressive garbage, the American public does not consume it, and the company fails to make enough money to break even. This leads them to cut costs in the writers’ room by hiring fewer writers. Those few writers are then forced to take jobs paying small weekly salaries just in case the project on which they are working gets canned.

Long wrote a personal message about his feelings toward the WGA strike saying:
“Despite my misgivings about nearly every single labor action the Writers Guild has undertaken during my three decades of membership—the strike of 2007, the action against the talent agents in 2020—as I tick through the issues of today, in 2023, I can’t help but, God help me, support the union. In the battle of the WGA vs. Media Fat Cats, I’m with the Wobblies. It’s hard to imagine, but in a few months you’ll likely see me marching awkwardly and painfully around the gates of a studio or network, chanting some idiotic rhyme and holding a picket sign, as my ancestors spin with curses in their graves.”

It is easy to commiserate with the plight of the writers, especially as Long has explained it. However, in the bigger picture, what is really going on here? Production companies feel the need to make more progressive and woke content in order to satisfy the very loud minority of Americans who are calling for it. Part of that loud minority is running, or at least speaking for, the WGA as they call for the more progressive tropes in film and television. When those projects ultimately fail because the majority of Americans would rather be entertained than preached to, those production companies lose money. Those losses come at the expense of the writers and their salaries.

In other words, it is the political leanings of the entertainment industry, like the WGA, that is responsible for the loss of revenue that these companies are experiencing. The writers and members of the WGA have in essence caused their own financial shortcomings. In the end, the writers should question if the union truly has their best interests at heart.

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