With the strike starting at 12:01 a.m. PT Tuesday morning, production on many shows will come to an immediate stop, which will first impact late-night television, including talk shows and "Saturday Night Live."
Fans looking forward to Pete Davidson's hosting turn on "Saturday Night Live" this coming weekend may have to wait a little while longer -- or it may not happen at all -- as the Writers Guild of America has voted to strike.
While threat of a strike has been looming for months, there was hope that a last-minute deal might avoid a work stoppage. Late Monday night, it became clear that wouldn't be the case.
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Just three hours before the strike would take effect, the WGA publicly announced that both the Writers Guild of America West and the Writers Guild of America East had unanimously voted to strike.
The organization went on to note they'd been negotiating for six weeks with Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Discovery-Warner, NBC Universal, Paramount and Sony "under the umbrella of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP)."
"Though we negotiated intent on making a fair deal -- and though your strike vote gave us the leverage to make some gains -- the studios' responses to our proposals have been wholly insufficient, given the existential crisis writers are facing," the WGA sent in a message to its members, per Deadline.
"We must now exert the maximum leverage possible to get a fair contract by withholding our labor." This marks the first work stoppage by the WGA since the strike of 2007-08, which lasted 100 days and had a huge impact on that television season.
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According to the WGA's press release, the organization believes the AMPTP has "created a gig economy inside a union workforce," saying that their inability to come to terms is indicative of "a commitment to further devaluing the profession of writing."
"From their refusal to guarantee any level of weekly employment in episodic television, to the creation of a 'day rate' in comedy variety, to their stonewalling on free work for screenwriters and on AI for all writers, they have closed the door on their labor force and opened the door to writing as an entirely freelance profession," the release continued.
The AMPTP preceded the Guild's announcement with one of their own, albeit much more concise. "Negotiations between the AMPTP and the WGA concluded without an agreement today," the group stated.
With the writers on strike, the impact will be felt immediately in some quarters of the entertainment world. The late-night talk shows are expected to shutter immediately, as they often create topical content.
Also hit hard is "Saturday Night Live," which creates and writes its shows the week of air. Pete Davidson was set to host this weekend's show but that more than likely will not happen now. There are two additional episodes scheduled after that. Depending on the length of the strike, those episodes could be bumped or the season could be considered over already, with all three episodes scrapped.
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The impact on daytime shows is less certain as they are often less scripted. As an example, "The View" went on as usual during the last WGA strike of 2007-2008. If a production does not use any writers, they can choose to continue, though some have shut before in solidarity with union strikers.
The regular season shows should be in good shape to wrap their existing seasons as even those still in production are likely past the writing stages (they knew this possibility was coming, after all). Other scripted shows will all depend on whether the writing is done or not, and how long the strike lasts. Again, as most of them knew this might happen, there was a definite push to get the writing finished.
There is, however, the possibility that actors and production guild members may opt to not cross the WGA picket lines and return to work, which would shut down production immediately. The actors guild contract with the AMPTP expires June 30.
As this strike is coming later in the regular season, it's impact might not be felt (outside of late-night and "SNL") until the summer. The networks have already been packing those with game shows and unscripted reality shows like "Big Brother," which are not impacted by the strike. Should it drag on, look for even more of that fare filling the schedule.
Impact on the film industry is even harder to gauge, considering their longer production schedules. The greatest impact would be felt down the road with possibly fewer viable scripts to work with, or franchise films with targeted release dates having to be delayed. All of this would be fully dependent on how long the strike might last.