‘Abbott Elementary’ Writer Says Hollywood Has Become ‘Absolute Dog S–’ for WGA Members

The guild is set to begin negotiations on a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers next week

Quinta Brunson in "Abbott Elementary"
Quinta Brunson in "Abbott Elementary" (ABC)

“Abbott Elementary” writer Brittani Nichols blasted the industry in a lengthy Twitter thread on Tuesday for becoming “absolute dog s—” for Writers Guild of America members.

Nichols shared a picture of a chart which showed that 98% of staff writers and 95% of story editors in the WGA were working at minimum wage during the 2021-2022 season, up 12 percentage points and 14 percentage points from the 2013-2014 season.

“As you’re promoted, your minimum wage raises…but what’s happened is our minimum wage has become our ceiling,” she said. “They’ve decided that the lowest amount we are willing to accept is also the most they are willing to pay.”

She added that many staff writers have been “forced to repeat that entry level job over & over again.”

“And you’ll never guess who I’ve heard this happening to more than anyone else. PoC,” she said.

Unlike story editors, staff writers are not guaranteed a script fee under the current contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which can “be the difference between you qualifying for health insurance or not,” Nichols said.

“Before Abbot, I was able to survive this industry by piecing together jobs on 6 and 8 episode shows and working “unscripted” shows that *should* be union but aren’t. But not everyone is as lucky as I am,” she continued. “Largely, the state of the industry is keeping people like me out OR creating a situation where we have to leave because we can’t make ends meet. We should not be forced to give up on our dreams after we’ve already done the near impossible task of landing a union writing job because of corporate greed.”

Representatives for the WGA and AMPTP did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment.

The thread comes as the WGA and the AMPTP are slated to begin negotiations on a new contract on March 20. The current contract expires on May 1.

Last week, WGA membership voted 98.4% in favor of a “pattern of demands” for a new agreement, which covers topics including compensation and residuals, pension plans and health funds and professional standards and protection in the employment of writers. The WGA said on Tuesday that it plans to “significantly address writer compensation” during the upcoming talks.