Best Signs From the Writers Guild of America Strike Show How Creative They Are With Words

On Tuesday, May 2, 2023, the Writers Guild of America (WGA)—aka Hollywood’s writers—went on strike. After six weeks of contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the WGA announced its members would “walk off the job.” The labor union represents about 11,500 people who write for the television shows and movies we enjoy at home and in theaters. Their protesting brings productions to a halt, the likes of which have not been seen since the last strike in 2007–2008.

So, why is the WGA striking? There are many reasons, but one is regarding residuals in the face of streaming services. A writer receives money every time the episode they wrote re-airs on a television network. For those with a show in syndication like Friends, that can mean a substantial amount of income. But with on-demand services like Hulu and Netflix, the residuals for a show are much lower—despite how many times an episode might be viewed. This makes it unsustainable for writers.

“Driven in large part by the shift to streaming, writers are finding their work devalued in every part of the business. While company profits have remained high and spending on content has grown, writers are falling behind,” the WGA said in a statement. “The companies have used the transition to streaming to cut writer pay and separate writing from production, worsening working conditions for series writers at all levels. ”

The industry is also grappling with the rise of AI and how the technology could be used to generate scripts. The WGA is looking for protection against the use of artificial intelligence as it relates to writing material. “Right now, I think we have a pretty simple philosophy, which is AI can’t be literary material,” explains Chris Keyser, WGA Negotiating Committee Co-Chair. “It can’t be a draft that we have to rewrite. It doesn’t mean that companies won’t use it in some ways. It can be research material—but it can’t be literary material. I’ll say this, no one knows exactly what AI’s going to be, but the fact that the companies won’t talk about it is the best indication we’ve had that we have a reason to fear it.”

While scripted programming is on hold—and could be for a while as the last strike lasted 100 days—there is a lot at stake for the writers. The hope is that a strike will force the AMPTP to negotiate, as the implications of it have a ripple effect throughout the industry.

The WGA created protest signs with space for writers to fill in the blanks. And, being writers, it’s no surprise they came up with witty and often times laugh-out-loud funny things to put on those signs. Scroll down to see some of the best signs from the Writers’ Strike picket line, so far.

On Tuesday, May 2, 2023, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) went on strike. Here are some of the best protest signs seen at the picket lines so far.

The last WGA strike in the mid-aughts lasted 100 days. If you look back at television shows around that time, you'll notice that many of the seasons were shortened.


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The Writers Guild of America West released their list of proposals and the AMPTP responses that justified why the labor union was forced to go on strike.

In light of the current strike, clips of Conan O'Brien's late-night talk show are going viral. They demonstrate what it was like during the 2007–2008 protests.

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20+ of the Most Clever and Powerful Signs at the Global March for Our Lives

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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