Thoughts on the WGA Strike

Mpepper/ May 8, 2023/ Writing

I have complicated feelings about the WGA strike. As a writer, I probably shouldn’t. As a would-be screenwriter, I almost certainly shouldn’t. But that “would-be” is key.

The film industry is notoriously difficult to break into. I’ve written scripts that got great coverage, and one that has won an award. I’ve had scripts optioned… and then go nowhere. Which is not uncommon. Many hopeful writers would see a strike as an opening in what is usually a solid wall built against them. But they’re told if they sell a script while the union is on strike, it will end their career.

What career?

You’ve already denied me a career as a screenwriter and now you want to warn me that I’ll never have one if I finally sell a script? This might be the one and only time anyone would even look at my work outside of a contest or my paying them to read it.

So, in some ways it feels like my options are to sell a script and then maybe never sell another one -OR- just never sell one ever once the Guild is back in business.

Still, I do believe in what the writers are asking for. Contracts have not kept up with the times and technology. As originators of much of today’s entertainment, writers deserve fair slices of the pie. So I would not cross that picket line. I may not be a WGA member (yet), but if and when I’m that lucky, I’d want them fighting for me, too.

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