What did Hollywood learn from costly 2007 writers’ strike?

Striking members of the Writers Guild of America, West chant during a rally in Hollywood, California, November 20, 2007. Photo by REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Another writers’ strike could be possible. The last one was in 2007, costing California’s economy more than $2 billion, the loss of nearly 40,000 jobs, and the cancellation of more than a dozen shows. The key issue back then was new media, and how much writers should be paid if their work appeared on the internet or could be watched on an iPod. Netflix had just launched its streaming service earlier that year.

But now, 16 years later, there is still friction over how much writers should earn when their work appears in non-traditional formats. The writers’ demands for more money come as top media companies are trying to cut costs. There have been massive layoffs at Disney and Warner Bros Discovery.



  • Katie Kilkenny - staff reporter covering labor and union issues, The Hollywood Reporter