AI Sends Hollywood Writers On Strike After 15 years!

The Writers Guild of America pickets major studios in support of their demands for increased compensation and AI regulations. It is the first time Hollywood writers on strike in fifteen years. Hollywood’s striking writers made a promise to studio heads outside Amazon Studios in Los Angeles: “AI will replace you before it replaces us.”

The 32-year-old Diandra Pendleton-Thompson was preparing for what might be a protracted battle with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers while carrying the sign with the AI tagline.

In California, Writers Guild of America protesters gather. After union negotiators announced a strike for writers of film and television, workers and supporters of the Writers Guild of America demonstrate outside Warner Bros on 2nd May at Studios in Burbank, California, United States.

On Tuesday, the Writers Guild of America’s 11,500 members went on strike, sending hundreds to picket lines outside of major studios like Amazon, Netflix, Paramount, and Warner Brothers instead of their writers’ rooms in Los Angeles and New York. Writers are contending that the rise of the internet streaming era has left them behind, resulting in lower pay and less steady work, and they are demanding stricter guidelines for how studios utilize AI, artificial intelligence in film and television writing as they negotiate a new contract with major studios.

The Hollywood writers on strike outside of Amazon Studios shouted, “Fists up, pens down, LA is a union town!” on Tuesday, with many of the protestors marching in blue Writer Guild t-shirts demanding better compensation and benefits in the era of streaming supremacy. 

The writers on strike implies dire financial instability for Pendleton-Thompson. Before joining the Writers Guild in 2021, she is a Star Trek writer who spent years working as a Hollywood assistant. It also puts negotiations over long-term dream projects in danger. But she thinks it will be worth it in the end.

She is especially concerned about the use of AI in tales by studios that include people of colour and those with disabilities because we will hear about those experiences through the voice of the algorithm rather than from those who have actually gone through it.

The writers’ strike is expected to have an impact on Hollywood employees. However, the Teamsters as well as unions for directors, actors, stagehands, and hair and makeup artists have all released statements in support of the writers’ strike. This summer may see additional Hollywood strikes because the contracts for both the Directors Guild of America and the actors union, Sag-Aftra, expire in June.