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WGA Strike Caused Untold Damage To Industry

Apr 27, 2008
Michael Winship, the president of the Writer's Guild of America East, and Patric M. Verrone, the president of the Writer's Guild of America West announced in a letter to all involved with the strike of the past three months that has crippled much of the entertainment industry that the WGA had indeed reached a deal with the AMPTP on the basis of if they get paid, we get paid.

The strike has been going on since November 5, 2007 over the royalties that were to be made from DVD sales, internet downloads, and film revenue. Specifically, the guild wanted an increase in the percentage they make off of these projects as a means to compensate for the period of unemployment they must often face between jobs.

The strike began and hopes were very quickly raised that the strike could be ended swiftly. However, this was not the case and the strike went on stronger than before. The strike continued and crippled the production of many popular television shows such as NBC's Heroes, CBS's CSI series, and several others. The strike even managed to halt production on almost every late night talk show. The strike did, however, benefit game shows and reality television which usually require no writers at all.

In early January the late night talk shows returned with an agreement between the companies that run them for fairer wages and several other demands were met, and some late night hosts even paid their writers with money out of their own pocket.

This helped boost morale in the Writer's Guild of America and the strike pressed on more determined than ever. The strike progressed and more and more deals were made, but some were not made fast enough, and the major award ceremony The Golden Globe Awards was televised by simply a reading of what won what award with no speeches, actors, writers, photographers, or anything one would associate with the award ceremony.

Many pondered what would happen for the Academy Awards, and it is perhaps that worry that led to the resolution that finally came on February 9.

The following is an excerpt from the WGA letter detailing the minimum royalties. Minimum rates generally increase 3.5% each year. The exceptions are: network prime time rates and daytime serial script fees increase 3.0% each period; program fees and the upset price increase once by 3% in the second year; and clip fees increase once by 5% in the third year. Every other revision requested by the WGA has been met. More details are soon to follow.
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