Screenwriters Worry That Film Concerns Are Taking a Back Seat in Hollywood Writers’ Strike

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The WGA wants to lock in higher streaming compensation for screenwriters, but some members say they’re not hopeful for dramatic change amid a focus on TV issues

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Members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) East hold signs as they walk in the picket-line outside of HBO and Amazon's offices on May 10, 2023 in New York City. (Getty Images)

Since the WGA strike began, TV writers have been front and center, with late-night shows canceled, picket lines outside studios and questions lobbed at executives at upfronts about the strike’s impact on their prime-time lineups. But film writers who joined in the strike effort say they face the same struggles, and some worry they’re being left out of the conversation.

Some flashpoints in the tense negotiations that led to the strike, like the use of mini-rooms, are specific to TV. But film screenwriters have seen their pay stagnate, too, the Writers Guild of America said. Many film genres have become more viable as streaming titles than as theatrical releases, leading feature writers to work on projects that often have less favorable pay scales.