The Effect of the Writers Strike on the Economy

Topics: Television, Reality television, Television program Pages: 6 (2380 words) Published: March 3, 2008
The Writers Guild of America strike (WGA) is having a vast effect on the economy. The strike is between the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and the WGA which is looking for a new contract. Not only are the writers and actors being affected by the strike other people are also being affected. It is a wide spread problem that is having a trickle down effect. The WGA strike is a complex problem including the history, separate sides, the cost of the strike and the effect on the entertainment industry. The 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike is a strike by the Writers Guild of America, East and the Writers Guild of America, West that started on November 5, 2007. The WGAE and WGAW are two labor unions representing film, television and radio writers working in the United States. Over 12,000 writers joined the strike. The strike is against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers a trade organization representing the interests of 397 American film and television producers… The current strike has lasted 10 weeks and 2 days, as of January 16, 2008. The last such strike in 1988 lasted 21 weeks and 6 days, costing the American entertainment industry an estimated $500 million ($870 million in 2007 dollars). (

Because of the large amount of money being lost it can easly be seen how this can affect many lives. It is a drain on our already drained economy. Such a wide spread problem cannot easily be fixed or ignored. Some people have already come up wth different and creative ways to survive during the strike.

This is not the first time a stike has occurred, the last strike was in 1988, which caused much of the same problems. As detailed in Showbuzz, The 1988 strike by the Writers Guild of America did not produce so many fresh jokes. For one thing, the airwaves were filled with reruns. And not too much was funny. The strike lasted 22 weeks, reportedly cost the industry $500 million, and caused hardship for individual strikers. "People lost their houses, they weren't able to send their kids to college," Dick Wolf, executive producer of Law and Order, told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2001, when a similar strike threatened (but didn't materialize.) Some were forced to adjust in creative ways. Fran Drescher and her husband Peter Marc Jacobson (later co-creators of "The Nanny") launched a good business, Loaf & Kisses Gourmet Croutons, which kept going. ( With knowledge of a previous strike it is hard to fathom how Hollywood could be caught off guard again. Perhaps the entertaiment industry should have lerarned from past mistakes with such a large amount of money lost in 22 weeks. To this day some people have not recoved from the 1988 strike. Although the strike of 88' was such a huge hit to the ecomy it gave way to some of the telivison shows and genre we watch today, show buzz writes, To fill the hours with something other than repeats, the networks looked to what was then alternative programming. So-called news magazines such as CBS' "48 Hours" rose to prominence during the strike. And Fox picked up a show called "Cops" from a local station, and put it on its Saturday night lineup, where it remains, 20 seasons later, the longest-running of what is now being called reality television. Some say that the strike helped create this peculiar genre of unscripted shows, which fill much of the primetime schedule and, if there is another strike in 2007, is likely to take up even more. (

With the rise of reality television as a form of entertainment today some good could be seen coming from the 1988 strike as the reality television industry is now a multi million dollar industry adding to the economy. With such shows as Survivor, American Idol and the amazing race are some of the most watched shows on television today. Shows such as 49 hours gave way to similar shows such as 60 minutes, dateline and 20/20. When the strike of 1988...
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