The Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike is underway, and Hollywood is dealing with the repercussions.
Night-time talk shows immediately shut down in the first week of the strike, starting May 2. Due to the fact that these shows are written daily, there was no way for them to continue. Additionally, many scripted shows are now on pause. Titles like “Severance,” “Night Court,” and “Hacks” have stopped production. Even movies are feeling the heat. Marvel’s “Blade,” starring Mahershala Ali, shut down production just a month before it was set to start filming.
The WGA is an alliance of two labor unions that represent over 11,000 writers in several mediums of entertainment. The strike began due to the organization demanding higher pay and a stable pay structure. There were also concerns about artificial intelligence and pay when it comes to streaming projects.
When the strike was announced, the WGA highlighted the importance of this issue. On the organization’s website, negotiating committee co-chair, Chris Keyser, explained the reasoning behind the strike.
“We have reached this moment today not of our own choosing but because the companies’ assault on writer income and working conditions have pushed us to an existential brink,” Keyser wrote.
Black Women Writers
Oftentimes, writers for some of our favorite shows go unnoticed. That includes the Black women who have been at the helm of several fan favorite productions. Here are a few to remember during this strike.
Brittani Nichols is a producer and writer on ABC’s Emmy-winning, hit show, “Abbott Elementary.” Along with writing, Nichols also acts and is a comedian. Nichols produced, wrote and starred in her feature, “Suicide Kale.” The film has won numerous awards including the Audience Award at Outfest. Nichols is actively documenting the writer’s strike on her Twitter page.
You’re never going to believe this but writers caught them violating the “neutral gate” rules at Warner Bros and now we get to picket that gate. Come picket with us! You might end up being a spy. #writersstrike #WGAstrong https://t.co/13BFrI8a0n— Brittani Nichols *Strike Version* (@BisHilarious) May 11, 2023
Courtney A. Kemp
Courtney Kemp is a producer and writer. She is known for creating the “Power” franchise with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson for Starz. Kemp has also written for “The Good Wife” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
Mara Brock Akil
Mara Brok Akil is at the helm of some of Black women’s favorite shows. She wrote for shows like “Girlfriends,” “The Game” and “Being Mary Jane.”
Yvette Lee Bowser
Yvette Lee Bowser is another veteran writer. She’s the creative mind behind the much loved series, “Living Single.” With that hit show, Bowser became the first Black woman to develop her own primetime series. She has countless other producing credits including “Half and Half” and “Black-ish.” Most recently, Bowser has worked as the executive producer and showrunner for “Run The World” and Kerry Washington’s Hulu series “Unprisoned.”
Robin Thede is the mastermind behind HBO’s “A Black Lady Sketch Show.” However, her career didn’t just start with that series. Prior to the hit show, she had writing credits on BET shows such as “Real Husbands of Hollywood” and several BET Awards.