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The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

Writers Rally For Rights


Stranger Things 4, released in the summer of 2022, became such a hit that it became the 2nd most-watched show in Netflix history. Fans were wrapped up in a frenzy of anticipation for the upcoming season until the Duffer Brothers tweeted, “Writing does not stop when filming begins, while we’re excited to start production with our amazing cast and crew, it is not possible during this strike.”

The Writer’s Guild of America strikes started on May 2, 2023, and was the second longest WGA strike in history lasting 146 days. Screenwriters from all over America gathered in solidarity for higher pay, provisions about Artificial intelligence, and other concerns in the workplace. Because of the protest, many highly anticipated shows and movies were put on hold. UCF professor of screenwriting and WGA member, Barry Sandler explained the importance of telling stories through film, something that became very difficult when the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) would not listen to the writer’s concerns.

“The reason people go to movies is to get caught up in a story, and they do that through characters, primarily who take you on a journey,” Sandler said, “The glory of film is that we’re able to learn so much about not only the world around us and other people, but history as well.”

Movies and shows have become the 21st-century form of storytelling, and represent so many different types of people and human experiences. Writers can open up a whole new world for people to experience new perspectives and gain insight. 

“It offers a long-form way to look into characters and reflect on historical events and the current social landscape, and is a really good way to reflect on society,” Senior Alexander Matusiak said. 

Writers are giving up their voices because companies are not meeting their needs. Sandler spent his entire summer in LA on the picket line with his friends in the industry demanding respect for writers’ work and proper pay. 

 “We would carry our sign and march up and down the street,” Sandler said, “And we got a lot of support from passing people in their cars, fire trucks, police cars… we really felt this sense of support from the community and that people were behind us.”

Because of these strikes, many streaming services like Netflix had to resort to other means, such as live streaming of baby gorillas, to keep audiences entertained while shows were on hold. 

AI has become one of the biggest topics of concern, for writers and actors there is a lot of argument about the uses of AI for script writing and CGI effects. However, many are worried that writers using AI leads to a lack of authenticity within scripts and storytelling. 

“As a writer or any artist, you want to own the fullness of your products,” Christianity and Film teacher Brandon Burmeister said. “Not only is it a way to cut money, you’re [also] going to get repetitive bad products. It’s not artistic… it takes away from the integrity of the process.”

Other issues like residuals were brought up in the strike regarding the effects of AI. Not only are people worried about changes that AI brings to storytelling, but people in the film industry worry about how AI is going to affect their jobs. 

“The AI issue is very prominent in terms of protections for writers, each era has its own technology that writers stand to benefit by and the studios have to be willing to pay the writers what they deserve,” Sandler said. 

However, many argue that AI is a tool that can be utilized with caution. 

“AI can be used in a lot of different ways to help create storyboards quickly and efficiently,” Burmeister said, “There’s a lot of good applications for AI technology, I just don’t think it’s in the creative side of it.”

The writer’s strike ended on September 27, 2023, with a deal that included restrictions on AI, saying that tools can be utilized without reducing their pay. Other demands were also heard, increasing overall pay and streaming residuals. 

“We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional — with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership,” WGA tweeted. 

 Even though the writers strike is over, there is still a lot of work to be done, on both the writer’s and actor’s part. Movies and TV shows are still unable to start production until the Screen Actors Guild of America (SAG) reaches a fair deal.

“With the strike over for the writers, [it] will create a momentum for actors and producers to sit down, talk, and negotiate a deal,” Sandler said, “This really broke ground and really allowed for the actors to make their deal as well because I think everybody wants to get back to work.”


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About the Contributor
Mila Taylor
Mila Taylor, Staff Writer
Mila Taylor is a sophomore entering her first year on staff. She is currently a staff writer for the focus department. In her free time, she loves to play with her dog Josie, procrastinate on her homework and play the bass drum on the Trinity Prep drumline. Contact at [email protected].

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