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Writers Strike 2023

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Writers Strike 2023

Old 07-18-23, 01:23 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Originally Posted by Gizmo
The cost of scripted has increased heavily in the past few years, especially with COVID. Every streamer is losing money. What do you expect to happen? Give out massive pay increases, residuals, double writers and somehow they will continue on? When a POS show on CW costs 2-4 million an episodes, how much do you think others shows costs with actual names cast and bigger budgets?

mass cancellations. Permanent episode reductions. Smaller casts. Thatís the only way the studios survive going forward. But as long as the writers can keep making 6 figures a year.
I have the same reaction to this as I do whenever someone complains about something like a restaurant closing down - if you can't pay your staff and you can't keep your customers, maybe you shouldn't have a restaurant. So if these studios can't make it work, if these streamers can't make their money, well, then I guess they have to shut down. If the industry itself gets smaller, that might just need to be what happens. Though I've heard that they literally can't find enough showrunners for all of the content that is being produced.

But there is also no reason for a CEO of a studio or streamer to make 50 million bucks a year. Writers definitely deserve more than executives - you could make a scripted TV show without an executive.

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Old 07-18-23, 01:24 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Originally Posted by Count Dooku
Just saw today that Dwayne Johnson received the highest upfront salary ever --$50 million, for the movie Red Notice.
Red One.
Old 07-18-23, 01:45 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Originally Posted by Count Dooku
Salary Caps benefit the overall league. The same way the revenue sharing and the draft structure benefit the league. The league requires some element of competitive balance.

The continued existence of the league and bolstering the overall popularity of the sport does benefit the owners, but it also benefits the players. The one thing about professional sports leagues is that there are an exact and limited number of job openings for the players.There are 1700 roster positions for NFL players. If the league did not have systems in place to keep all its teams in business, there would be fewer jobs for players to have.

Also, there is no professional sports league with a salary cap where the best players are not paid immense fortunes for their efforts, and those leagues also have minimum yearly salaries well beyond what an average person makes in a year.
This was going to be my other point. They understand that by limiting the influence of money on the competition, it makes everything fairer. The product is better. People enjoy it more. Now, if only they could understand that in real life, maybe we wouldn't have this immense wealth disparity as well. Although, I know they understand it. They just don't give a shit.
Old 07-18-23, 02:11 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Originally Posted by spainlinx0
This was going to be my other point. They understand that by limiting the influence of money on the competition, it makes everything fairer. The product is better. People enjoy it more. Now, if only they could understand that in real life, maybe we wouldn't have this immense wealth disparity as well. Although, I know they understand it. They just don't give a shit.
Wouldn't this be considered collusion, though? Also important to note there is no cap on profits for NBA teams (except for salary cap penalties) and the NBA is not beholden to shareholders.
Old 07-18-23, 02:31 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Originally Posted by Decker
And by the way, those A-List actors are out there striking in support of those working actors, not for themselves.
Because the union they joined is forcing them to strike LOL
Old 07-18-23, 02:33 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Originally Posted by Draven
I have the same reaction to this as I do whenever someone complains about something like a restaurant closing down - if you can't pay your staff and you can't keep your customers, maybe you shouldn't have a restaurant. So if these studios can't make it work, if these streamers can't make their money, well, then I guess they have to shut down. If the industry itself gets smaller, that might just need to be what happens. Though I've heard that they literally can't find enough showrunners for all of the content that is being produced.

But there is also no reason for a CEO of a studio or streamer to make 50 million bucks a year. Writers definitely deserve more than executives - you could make a scripted TV show without an executive.
Thats a great opinion to have, except itís the Mom N Pops canít pay the higher everything while bigger corporations like WalMart can. And once all those Mom N Pops are gone, Walmart can own the whole town and do whatever they want.

But yes, letís fire all writers and actors and get rid of the whole thing since the streamers are losing money. I agree, smart move
Old 07-18-23, 02:38 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Originally Posted by Draven

But there is also no reason for a CEO of a studio or streamer to make 50 million bucks a year. Writers definitely deserve more than executives - you could make a scripted TV show without an executive.
Ryan Murphy got a $300 million Netflix deal for something like 5 years. There is no reason anyone should be getting that big of a deal as a writer when some are some that apparently can barely survive making $1000 a day, RIGHT?

What about that $60 million dollar deal Phoebe-Waller-Bridge took with netted nothing for Amazon? How is that fair when a writer on THE BEAR (a whole 8 episodes) only made $50k ?!?! Maybe those deals
should not exist because there are tons of these high 5/6 figure deals going around. Maybe those people should take massive pay cuts?

Old 07-18-23, 02:49 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Originally Posted by Gizmo
Thats a great opinion to have, except itís the Mom N Pops canít pay the higher everything while bigger corporations like WalMart can. And once all those Mom N Pops are gone, Walmart can own the whole town and do whatever they want.
"Mom and pops" with shitty service, inconvenient hours and high prices - yes, let's keep those going . There is nothing special about a "mom and pop". And if they can't make it work, too bad. If Walmart is providing what a community needs, I don't see the problem.

But yes, letís fire all writers and actors and get rid of the whole thing since the streamers are losing money. I agree, smart move
If the streamers can't pay a fair wage...yeah, then they should shut down.

Originally Posted by Gizmo
Ryan Murphy got a $300 million Netflix deal for something like 5 years. There is no reason anyone should be getting that big of a deal as a writer when some are some that apparently can barely survive making $1000 a day, RIGHT?
Is Ryan Murphy just a writer?

What about that $60 million dollar deal Phoebe-Waller-Bridge took with netted nothing for Amazon? How is that fair when a writer on THE BEAR (a whole 8 episodes) only made $50k ?!?! Maybe those deals should not exist because there are tons of these high 5/6 figure deals going around. Maybe those people should take massive pay cuts?
No, creatives deserve more money than executives. The only reason the executives are making money is because of the creatives. Some of those creatives could go make content on YouTube or TikTok and make money too. An studio executive without any talent or creative staff is making jack shit.
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Old 07-18-23, 02:55 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Replace all the executives with ChatGPT
Old 07-18-23, 03:00 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Originally Posted by Draven
An studio executive without any talent or creative staff is making jack shit.
Some phb/MBA drone will train a ChatGPT bot on tvtropes.org data, to generate generic tv/movie scripts which are indistinguishable from generic network tv and basic cable shows.



Old 07-18-23, 03:05 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Originally Posted by Draven
I have the same reaction to this as I do whenever someone complains about something like a restaurant closing down - if you can't pay your staff and you can't keep your customers, maybe you shouldn't have a restaurant. So if these studios can't make it work, if these streamers can't make their money, well, then I guess they have to shut down. If the industry itself gets smaller, that might just need to be what happens. Though I've heard that they literally can't find enough showrunners for all of the content that is being produced.
The "can't find enough showrunners" bit, I've read, is actually partially due to something the writiers are striking about: the reduction/removal of the writiers room, and not keeping writers on during production of the show. It used to be, writers would hang out on set for possible rewrites, and would get first hand experience of what it's like to be a showrunner. Then they maybe would be promoted to showrunner when one left a show, or get an opportunity based on that experience and exposure.

The studios and streaming services are shooting themselves in the foot long-term with a lot of their decisions, but they can't see beyond the short-term immediate savings for a particular production.
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Old 07-18-23, 03:07 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Whereís this $1k per day number coming from?
Old 07-18-23, 03:17 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Originally Posted by Gizmo
Because the union they joined is forcing them to strike LOL
You know that a union must vote in favor of a strike, right? You understand that's how collective action works?
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Old 07-18-23, 03:21 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Originally Posted by Superman07
Whereís this $1k per day number coming from?
The WGA minimum for week to week writers is $5,069 a weekÖso $1000 a day. Now imagine working on a show for 8-12 weeks and you are living pretty good.

But the problem is, according to them , is itís hard to book jobs after that and they have to live off their $40-60k until their next gig comes, and if you are not a good writer, thatís apparently the studios fault. They want to be employed every day at those prices (well, way more now) when scripted is down sizing. Episode orders are shrinking. Residuals are non-existent because no one is buying package deals or shows anymore and budgets on existing scripted has increased heavily with COVID.

Itís going to be a bloodbath of cancelled scripted shows in the next few years, so lots of writers better find new gigs.
Old 07-18-23, 04:16 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Originally Posted by Gizmo
Because the union they joined is forcing them to strike LOL
Guns to their heads? Kidnapped and held their family hostage?
Old 07-18-23, 04:26 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Are they paid daily for appearing on the picket line?

For that matter, does the guild/union fine members for not appearing on the picket line?
Old 07-18-23, 04:27 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Originally Posted by Gizmo
The WGA minimum for week to week writers is $5,069 a weekÖso $1000 a day. Now imagine working on a show for 8-12 weeks and you are living pretty good.

But the problem is, according to them , is itís hard to book jobs after that and they have to live off their $40-60k until their next gig comes, and if you are not a good writer, thatís apparently the studios fault. They want to be employed every day at those prices (well, way more now) when scripted is down sizing. Episode orders are shrinking. Residuals are non-existent because no one is buying package deals or shows anymore and budgets on existing scripted has increased heavily with COVID.

Itís going to be a bloodbath of cancelled scripted shows in the next few years, so lots of writers better find new gigs.
I found this information

During the 2019-2020 season television season, for example, Variety reports that the guild minimum for a writer-producer was $6,967 per week. In 2023, due to inflation, that minimum would be $8,184.
Variety also reports that for a WGA member in 2023, writer-producers earn a minimum of "$41,773 for each 60-minute script, or $28,403 for each 30-minute script." However, staff writers are the lowest-level writers and are paid differently. In 2023, "[t]he median staff writer on a network show works 29 weeks for a wage of $131,834, while the median staff writer on a streaming show works 20 weeks for $90,920."
So let's take Variety at its word.

Earning $90K to $131K sounds pretty fucking good. $90K is more than the average yearly US salary. And then factor in that these salaries are for working 40% to 60% of the year.

Of course, these TV show writing jobs likely require that you live in LA or NYC, two of the most expensive places to reside in the US, so the whole "compared to the average American" thing is hogwash.

Second, this idea that working 20-30 weeks at ONE job means that you are free to go get another high paying writing gig the rest of the year is a fallacy. TV series are not like Starbucks always looking for new hires. If the production of the series you are working on is on hiatus, you don't just go get hired on somewhere else for a while. When you get hired on a writing staff, you are expected to be there AND come back. There are opportunities for temporary writing gigs.

However, if you are a writer who is shopping yourself around for available jobs, that shopping is being done by your agent, who is taking a cut of that $90K-$130K salary.

And this all presumes that you are working. Lots of writers have dry spells where they are not working.

Now, I keep seeing comments from Gizmo that any writer that is having trouble getting work must not be talented to begin with. That if you are a good writer, you will keep working and make a thousand dollars a day, all the time. And Gizmo's attitude seems to be that if you need to demand more compensation through your union, you should just pack it up because talent will get paid.

Is anyone naive enough to believe this is true?

The entertainment industry has developed a voracious appetite for content, unmatched in any previous history. It requires that creative work be constantly thrown into its maw. It's anti-intuitive, but its Corporate Logic 101 that the more of something you need, the less you value where it comes from.

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Old 07-19-23, 01:20 AM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Originally Posted by Gizmo
Ryan Murphy got a $300 million Netflix deal for something like 5 years. There is no reason anyone should be getting that big of a deal as a writer when some are some that apparently can barely survive making $1000 a day, RIGHT?

What about that $60 million dollar deal Phoebe-Waller-Bridge took with netted nothing for Amazon? How is that fair when a writer on THE BEAR (a whole 8 episodes) only made $50k ?!?! Maybe those deals
should not exist because there are tons of these high 5/6 figure deals going around. Maybe those people should take massive pay cuts?

Amazon handing $60 million to PWB and then not having it in her contract that she actually provide anything is a horrible business decision,but how is that a WGA decision? That is like saying the NBA players association should intervene if 1 GM was dumb enough to give a Backup Center on the Lakers 20 Million Dollars.
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Old 07-19-23, 03:12 AM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Originally Posted by AaronHernandez
Amazon handing $60 million to PWB and then not having it in her contract that she actually provide anything is a horrible business decision,but how is that a WGA decision? That is like saying the NBA players association should intervene if 1 GM was dumb enough to give a Backup Center on the Lakers 20 Million Dollars.
Preventing "dumb" decisions is in part why salary caps exist. It prevents bidding wars for top talent, and prevents that contract that you cite, because nobody takes a flyer with a cap. The other thing that salary caps do is essentially give most of the money to the top stars, talented or not, because there's not much money left over for everyone else under the cap and GMs are all too often willing to overpay for those stars. Heck, the NBA has a rookie salary limit precisely to ensure this. The other players essentially get told "fit yourself under the cap or go home". Bottom tier players were always going to get league minimum or close to it anyway, so it's the mid-pack players who have to take pay cuts (relative to where they'd be without a cap) to make cap room for the big contracts.
Old 07-19-23, 10:00 AM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Paying out sixty million to Phoebe Waller Bridge and three hundred million to Ryan Murphy is just fucking nuts. Yeah, here's three hundred million fucking dollars; maybe you can think of a show for us to do. Is Dahmer really worth that much?

When they can pay out sixty million to Phoebe Waller Bridge to do nothing, and then scream poverty when it comes down to paying the little people who are actually working is just fucking disingenuous.

So much of this stuff, like PWB and Murphy, just seems like the streamers flexing. Amazon treats their warehouse employees like shit and drives them like slavemasters, but when it comes down to someone like PWB or Harry and Megan's $100M Netflix deal, it's like they're sending a dump trucks full on money to their houses just for being famous.

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Old 07-19-23, 11:45 AM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Originally Posted by Gizmo

What about that $60 million dollar deal Phoebe-Waller-Bridge took with netted nothing for Amazon? How is that fair when a writer on THE BEAR (a whole 8 episodes) only made $50k ?!?! Maybe those deals
should not exist because there are tons of these high 5/6 figure deals going around. Maybe those people should take massive pay cuts?
Originally Posted by AaronHernandez
Amazon handing $60 million to PWB and then not having it in her contract that she actually provide anything is a horrible business decision,but how is that a WGA decision? That is like saying the NBA players association should intervene if 1 GM was dumb enough to give a Backup Center on the Lakers 20 Million Dollars.
What are you guys talking about!? I only had to google two things to find out that as part of that Amazon deal, PWB is adapting a novel into a movie for Amazon that she will produce and write. Also, she is developing a Tomb Raider series that she will exec produce and write for. Is what she doing worth $60 mil? IDK, but she is giving them something.

@@@@@@@@@@@
This is not directed at you two, but just to everyone in general:

AND PLEASE, for the love of god, stop conflating multi-million dollar deals that "superstar" people like Ryan Murphy and Phoebe Waller-Bridge make with streamers to create, develop, produce, and write content with the financial struggles of people working as just writers. There is even a financial difference in compensation between being labeled a writer-producer on a TV series and being a writer.

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Old 07-19-23, 11:53 AM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

You don't just get hired as a "writer" off graduating from USC or NYU and paying your WGA dues. These guys have to start on the way bottom of the food chain with a very low salary as Assistants, Writing assistant, Story editor, Research etc. It may take them a couple of years before they get their 1st shot to write their 1st episode.
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Old 07-19-23, 12:12 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

https://deadline.com/2023/07/nbc-fal...73e828aa12daf1

NBC will have new scripted shows this Fall that were filmed before the strike


The second half of season five of Magnum P.I, which was originally intended for midseason, will debut in the fall on Wednesday nights, and will be joined by Quantum Leap, new series Found and The Irrational as well as Canadian medical drama Transplant.Deadline understands that Magnum P.I, which is ending with season five, has ten full shot episodes, it has a number of episodes of Quantum Leap, which was renewed in December, in the can and 13-episode seasons for Shanola Hampton-fronted missing persons drama Found and The Irrational, a procedural starring Jesse L. Martin.

Found was originally planned for midseason in the 2022/23 season and was set to premiere in February but was moved by Susan Rovner in January. The series comes from All American‘s Nkechi Okoro Carroll, Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television. The Irrational landed its series order in December and comes from Arika Lisanne Mittman and Universal Television. Both series were originally part of the network’s off-cycle pilot initiative.

The Irrational will launch on Monday September 25, the same 10pm slot as was revealed in May, after The Voice, which kicks off with new coach Reba McEntire.
Old 07-19-23, 03:22 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Originally Posted by Count Dooku
AND PLEASE, for the love of god, stop conflating multi-million dollar deals that "superstar" people like Ryan Murphy and Phoebe Waller-Bridge make with streamers to create, develop, produce, and write content with the financial struggles of people working as just writers. There is even a financial difference in compensation between being labeled a writer-producer on a TV series and being a writer.
Side note. Maybe good for the Pet Peeve thread. This happens so much when I'm watching podcasts etc. If you're an entrepreneur, you're Mark Cuban, Jeff Bezos, etc. You're never a guy who owns a few successful machineshops and makes $300k/yr. If you're a musician, you're Kanye or Drake. Etc. etc. All those podcast people bring up the same 10 people in every podcast.

Christopher Nolan brought up exactly what you said when he commented on the Oppenheimer walkout. The union and strike is about the working class people in entertainment, not the celebrities.

This could possibly lead to a shift in how much content is being produced. I have no idea. But stringing along employees at $20k a year or whatever is no way to operate. Tear off the band aid. If it means that 10% of actors and writers move onto something else, so that others can get more consistent work, that could be for the best. Or else the employers will just need to figure out how to do more with less. If they (the studios) see it some other way, they need to communicate it with the general public. An honest representation would go a long way. If the studios came out and stated, "we are worried about the financial instability this will create with our cashflow and public shareholders", at least there would be a narrative. As is, the writers own the narrative, and the studios are evil and greedy.

There's nothing good about employing anyone who can't make a modest living. I'm a small business owner (I more or less do it all myself). I'd like to hire. But I can't afford it, and don't want someone to ruin their well-being trying to make my business work. So I have the humility to realize it's not possible yet.
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Old 07-19-23, 03:55 PM
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Re: Writers Strike 2023

Originally Posted by randian
Preventing "dumb" decisions is in part why salary caps exist. It prevents bidding wars for top talent, and prevents that contract that you cite, because nobody takes a flyer with a cap. The other thing that salary caps do is essentially give most of the money to the top stars, talented or not, because there's not much money left over for everyone else under the cap and GMs are all too often willing to overpay for those stars. Heck, the NBA has a rookie salary limit precisely to ensure this. The other players essentially get told "fit yourself under the cap or go home". Bottom tier players were always going to get league minimum or close to it anyway, so it's the mid-pack players who have to take pay cuts (relative to where they'd be without a cap) to make cap room for the big contracts.
Of course they do. Houston just overpaid a bunch of players so they could meet the minimum total payroll by the July 1st deadline.

Originally Posted by fujishig
Wouldn't this be considered collusion, though? Also important to note there is no cap on profits for NBA teams (except for salary cap penalties) and the NBA is not beholden to shareholders.
A bunch of teams have minority owners that the managing partner is beholden to. We are seeing an increasing number of hedge funds getting into owner too.

Last edited by Kdogg; 07-19-23 at 07:34 PM.

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