A battle between two strong forces has been going on for years on end…but the pandemic might have ended it all.
Have you ever thought about how many shows you binge watched over the course of the pandemic? Have you ever thought about how many of those shows were written by writers who were apart of the Writers Guild of America? The answer is a lot—and by a lot…I mean a lot.
The Writers Guild of America is a labor union made up of thousands upon thousands of writers who write for TV shows, movies, video games, news media, and basically anything that keeps us entertained on a dull weekend. They are a strong community of writers who are sick and tired of the toxicity of the industry and found their own group of agencies that support their movement. They negotiate and administer contracts that protect both the creative and economic rights of the writers in the community.
You see, in the past, the only way for a writer to ever get their work on a studio’s desk was through an agent. Agents are a middleman. They make the deal between the writers and the entertainment studio and get a project moving on its wheels. Agents would normally get paid 10% of the writer’s money as a commission for finding them a studio to partner with. And even though 10% isn’t a lot, it was still a portion of the writer’s money. So, the Guild said, “Bye Felicia!” and created a path of their own.
In 2019, all the writers in the Guild fired all of their agents at once. Boom…the battle officially began. Without agents, the Guild found that it was actually easier than they originally thought to sign contracts by themselves. Fast forward to today, the pandemic helped the writers in the Guild by giving them the time to use their creativity and shoot out amazing ideas. When everything shut down, that meant that production was shut down too. Everything in the Hollywood entertainment industry froze except the writers. They were able to use their time in isolation as a step up in their careers so when the industry opened up again, writers were ready with fresh ideas piled up for months.
With that, the Writers Guild of America is making strides in their movement. They are partnering with agencies that believe in the writers and they are really starting to make some noise in the entertainment industry.
What are your thoughts on the Guild’s recent win? Let us know down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.