WGA is prepared for ‘deep strike’ if necessary, says guild VP

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Writers Guild of America members are on strike outside Paramount Picture Studios’ Windsor gates in Hollywood, CA, May 2, 2023. Photo by Ted Soqui/SIPA USA via Reuters Connect.

The Writers Guild of America’s (WGA) strike against LA’s major studios is going into its third week. Having reached an impasse on a contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) on May 1, WGA members have been protesting outside all of the city’s studios, carrying signs, singing karaoke, and even holding singles mixers. 

“We've been focusing on our action –– mounting our strike and turning our members out in force … showing solidarity, demonstrating our resolve, and insisting that we improve compensation and working conditions across the board,” says Michele Mulroney, vice president of the Writers Guild of America West.

One of the contentious issues during negotiations is the use of artificial intelligence in writing shows, and whether it will eliminate jobs. 

“We're not saying to the studios that AI can't be part of your process,” says Mulroney. “But what we are asking is that our members are protected, and that AI doesn't replace writers in fundamental ways. Because we don't think that's good for creativity. We don't think that's actually good for the business.”

Publicly, studios say they aren’t earning as much money as before, so they can’t compensate writers according to older business models. 

The WGA recently released a rebuttal to that argument, saying that their demands would cost less than 1% of each studio’s annual revenue.

Mulroney says whatever the business model, more content than ever is being made. “We're still creating worlds. We're still creating memorable and important characters that audiences love. That's been working for a really long time. … We think it's to the benefit of both writers and the studios to keep the system that has worked for so long intact in as many ways as we can.” 

Given that the last WGA strike cost LA some $2 billion, many people worry about what consequences will come from the current strike. Mulroney and the union are holding fast. 

“Nobody ever wants a strike at all. It's always a last resort, but sometimes, deep strikes are necessary to achieve the goals that we desperately need.”

When contacted by KCRW, AMPTP said they are not making comments during negotiations, and provided this written statement: 



  • Michele Mulroney - Guest: Michele Mulroney, vice president, Writers Guild of America


Matt Guilhem