Activism Work Writing

Solidarity with the writer’s strike ✊✍️

Liked WGA strike 2023: Hollywood’s writers walked off the job. What happens now? by Alissa Wilkinson (Vox)

The guild is trying to get ahead of AI scripts and make sure streaming pays.

We’re in unfamiliar waters here. But there’s some indication that, unless an agreement is reached very soon, this could be the summer not just of a WGA strike, but a mega-strike — or, at least, a tense set of negotiations and a lot of uncertainty.

Here is what we know. The contracts for both the DGA, to which Hollywood’s directors belong, and SAG-AFTRA, the union for actors and voice actors, are up for renegotiation at the end of June.


Meanwhile, the president of IATSE, which represents Hollywood’s “below-the-line” workers — everyone from grips to craft services to first aid to electricians — has notified members that they may choose to honor the writers’ picket lines, though employers may choose to hire temporary replacements. (IATSE narrowly averted a strike in 2021.) The Teamsters (who drive trucks, wrangle animals, manage locations, and a lot more) also may choose not to cross picket lines.

Teamsters don’t fuck around, no way they’re crossing a picket line.

WGA On Strike – union website

The proposed terms and counters (via)

Per that doc, here’s what writers are asking for on AI:

Regulate use of artificial intelligence on MBA covered projects: AI can’t write or rewrite literary material; can’t be used as source material; and MBA-covered material can’t be used to train AI.

That preventing their work from becoming training data is key, and is exactly why the studios counter-offered “annual meetings to discuss advancements in technology” — they absolutely do not want to give up the ability to train the writers’ AI replacements.

But the writers can’t give up, because at stake is the entire profession of screenwriting as a viable career instead of gig work revising AI output:

The writers got screwed on the switch to streaming. They are not going to make the mistake of underestimating the risk of technology again.

See also:

The dream of AI is the dream of free labor

Mining intellectual value

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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