‘Abbott Elementary’, ‘Yellowjackets’ & ‘Andor’ Writers Sound Off On Looming WGA Talks: “Time For A Rethink”
06.03.2023 - 07:27
The upcoming contract talks between the WGA and the AMPTP were evidently in the ether during the WGA Awards on Sunday.
That’s no surprise given the two events – in L.A. and New York – brought hundreds of writers together, two weeks before negotiations kick off.
Meredith Stiehm, president of the WGA West, was most fervent onstage, admitting things might get “tough” but that writers won’t get “rolled,” nor are they “looking for a fight.”
All of this comes after the WGA unveiled its Pattern of Demands last week, highlighting topics such as streaming residuals, the issue of mini-rooms and the impact of AI.
Brittani Nichols, a writer on Abbott Elementary, said, “I think as a union we’re on the same page about so many things which is why our Pattern of Demands is straightforward. [These are] issues you hear writers talk about even when we’re not coming up to this deadline. Things we’ve been saying for years and years, and we’re ready to fight for what we deserve.”
The ABC comedy is set to bring its writers’ room back May 1, the same day the WGA’s contract expires.
Nichols highlighted the issue of mini-rooms. “What we’ve seen over and over are studios are trying to find loopholes to not compensate us the way we should be compensated. With current writers and future writers we should close as many of those loopholes as possible,” she said.
“When you’re stressed out and don’t have enough time and don’t have enough resources, it’s going come across in the material, so it’s best for the business to treat writers appropriately.”
Another major topic is streaming residuals. “I think that if the business has shifted to prioritize making shows on the streaming model, and it’s not a decision that writers made, and we’re along for the