People picket outside of Paramount Pictures on the first day of the Hollywood writers strike on May 2, 2023

Looking for Ways To Support the Writers’ Strike? We’ve Got You Covered

The Writer’s Guild of America is on strike. The strike has already brought an abrupt halt to late-night shows, but it could be weeks before companies start feeling the effects of the strike and months before they are willing to concede to the union’s incredibly reasonable demands. Here’s what we can do to support the union and its writers in the meantime.

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Donate time, money, and other resources

If you want to support the strikers in question, the WGA has created a carpool sign-up sheet for those who can donate time or other resources like a vehicle. You can also show up to join the picket line yourself if you live in New York or LA.

For those who don’t live in areas where protests are happening, there are also different funds you can donate to (including picketing pizza, coffee cart, and entertainment community—all included in the document embedded above).

Show & voice your support

If you are part of a union of any kind but especially in the entertainment industry, ask your representative if they can issue a statement of support for the WGA. SAG-AFTRA (the actor’s union) and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain have both stated their support for the strike, with some members joining the picket lines. The organizations have asked their members not to cross the picket line if approached by studios.

If you’re not part of a union, then follow the official WGA East and WGA West accounts for updates on picket lines and other news related to the strike. Hearing news directly from the unions themselves will cut down on misinformation.

Also consider writing emails to the CEOs of Major Streaming Services or Amazon Board of Directors to show your support for the writers guild. May not be the most effective, but squeaky wheels get oiled.

Reading between the lines

https://twitter.com/jygglypuffdadTV/status/1653529663661129728

A lot of outlets have already covered what the strike could mean for your favorite shows. But we also need to remember where to place the blame for this.

Strikes are generally a result of broken promises and lackluster compensation and the WGA is no exception. Writers’ concerns and requests were extremely reasonable—like not wanting studios to use their work to feed A.I. writing programs—and studios brushed them off. Add in a long history of not being properly compensated for streaming properties, and the strike was a natural progression of unmet needs.

The thing is, the studios could stop the strike at any time by conceding to the WGA’s demands. The demands are not outrageous: increased pay, better residuals, staffing requirements, shorter exclusivity deals, and assurances that their work would be safe from A.I. chatbots. All of these are well within these multi-billion dollar corporations’ abilities to fulfill.

But as with many anti-union narratives, these companies will pin the blame on striking workers who just want to make a living, rather than on their own greed and inability to compromise.

Boycotts

While there has not been a widespread call for a boycott of streaming services yet, some users have been canceling subscriptions as a way of making their support for the strike clear.

Some may argue that rewatching old episodes can give residuals to some of the writers in question but given that one of the main demands is over better residuals for streaming shows, this course of action doesn’t seem to be backed up with much evidence for its effectiveness.

Non-writers supporting writers

https://twitter.com/JohnnySibilly/status/1653524277197697024

Many strikers are also hoping to shift the too-prevalent narrative that writers just sit around and work for a few hours compared to the actors or crew who spend hours on set. Late-night television writers especially have an intense turnaround, writing stories and then sometimes having to scrap them or rewrite them when bigger news breaks, which is why late-night shows immediately stopped production at the start of the strike. These are not shows that can be pre-written. And those that are largely written before shooting starts still require an incredible amount of work that deserves fair compensation and respect.

Writers supporting writers

This tip goes out to my fellow non-union writers; I know that it may be tempting and some people will see this as their chance to make it in Hollywood. But crossing a picket line will only make it worse for you in the long run.

If you do succeed in the business, then it will be at the expense of all those other writers and you also won’t be protected by the union, meaning companies may try to pay you even less than they already pay their union writers.

If you don’t, then you may end up depriving yourself of a support community with your actions.

Long and short of it is, be patient. Support the union, the workers, the writers. Entertainment is important but making sure that the creators are being fairly compensated will result in better entertainment and a more fair system overall.

(featured image: David McNew/Getty Images)


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Author
Kimberly Terasaki
Kimberly Terasaki is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She has been writing articles for them since 2018, going on 5 years of working with this amazing team. Her interests include Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Horror, intersectional feminism, and fanfiction; some are interests she has held for decades, while others are more recent hobbies. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan.