Almost a decade after Hollywood writers went on strike for 100 days, another walkout could be on the cards if negotiations this weekend fail. The Writers Guild of America's contract with producers expires at midnight Monday, meaning TV and movie writers could be on strike by Tuesday. A strike would hit late-night TV immediately, the New York Times reports, though it would have to last until June to have a major effect on regular network programming, and most of 2017 and 2018's studio movies have already been written. Entertainment attorney Dan Stone tells Variety that there are complex issues involved, including a health plan deficit, making it hard to tell how this will turn out.
Mike Schur, who has written for shows including The Office and Parks and Recreation, tells the Los Angeles Times that a "firm stance" is needed for the health of both the union and the industry. "In 2007-08, the media companies were claiming there was no money in streaming and online content, so we should work for free (basically) until they could get a handle on what it was worth," he says. "The WGA thought that was a disingenuous stance... so we struck, and because of that everyone who now writes for Netflix and Hulu and Amazon gets guild coverage. That was an enormous victory. We need more victories like that."