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Dennis Reynolds

Writer’s Guild of America officially goes on strike

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Hollywood writers are closing their laptops and heading to the picket line.

Thousands of unionized scribes who say they are not paid fairly in the streaming era went on strike early Tuesday, bringing television production to a halt. It comes after high-stakes negotiations between a top guild and a trade association representing Hollywood’s marquee studios failed to avert the first walkout in more than 15 years.

The strike brings production on broadcast programs, streaming shows and potentially some films to a virtual standstill, upending the entertainment industry. (Comcast, the corporation that owns NBCUniversal, is one of the entertainment companies represented by the trade group.)

In some cases, the impact will be clear immediately. Late-night talk shows are going dark this week, for example, and NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” could nix this weekend’s episode. In other cases, the producers of scripted drama and comedy series may be forced to cut their seasons short or delay filming altogether.

The work stoppage comes amid intense economic and technological upheaval in Hollywood, which is grappling with the increasing dominance of streaming services, the decline of traditional broadcast viewership and even the rise of artificial intelligence, which has stoked anxiety about the future of creative professions.


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