McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

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Ripples through Hollywood 

Now that the strike is over, both the movie industry and the public are beginning to see the effects as release dates are now being pushed back
Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / TNS
Members of the Writers Guild of America picket in front of CBS Television City in Los Angeles on Sept. 24, 2023.

On May 2, 2023 the Writers Guild of America went on a strike that lasted for five months ending on September 27th of the same year. This put a hold on the productions of movie, TV, and other forms of entertainment, pushing back releases and causing some to be canceled. Now in this coming year instead of having the usual big “summer blockbusters” these bigger films are going to be coming out later in the year, like in October, November or December.

The WAG is a joint labor union that represents writers in film, television, radio, and online media. WGA includes the Authors Guild and the Screen Writers Guild. The two began working together in 1933 with both taking a more active role in labor negotiations then they had previously had. This isn’t the first strike the group has gone on but it is one of the longer ones, only being five days shorter than the 1988 strike.

May 1, 2023, the WGA released an announcement to their members and the public stating that they were not able to come to an agreement with the company’s Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Discovery-Warner, NBC Universal, Paramount and Sony under the umbrella of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). These negotiations were about labor disputes, including the demand for higher royalties, mandatory staffing of TV writing rooms and a safeguard against artificial intelligence.

The WGA Committee wrote, “Here is what all writers know: the companies have broken this business. They have taken so much from the very people, the writers, who have made them wealthy. But what they cannot take from us is each other, our solidarity, our mutual commitment to save ourselves and this profession that we love.”

Since the strike put a hold on the productions of both TV and film this pushed back the release of many projects. New movies that were set to release this summer have now been pushed months, and for some years. This is going to cause future projects that were already meant to come out next year will also be pushed back.

“The industry was just starting to recover from the pandemic…and these movies that have been pushed back now months, till next summer, and even years are going to have a ripple effect on the industry causing other projects to also be pushed back,” said Scott Dehn, owner of the Golden Age Cinemas – McHenry Outdoor Theater.

Now this is not going to affect the big studios, they are still going to be making money whether it is now or later in the future, it is the movie theaters that are going to suffer from the pushback.

You know it’s really the little guys that are going to suffer, not the big studios and companies…Usually in May we show like a new Marvel movie, like last year was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3, but this year I’m opening with two movies from 1999,” said Dehn.

The WGA had every right to go on strike, most do not realize how much writers do for the entertainment we consume. The strike brought attention to some of the problems in the industry and with its conclusion there is a hope that it will improve.

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