Possible writer strike in Hollywood looms as negotiations heat up

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The possibility of a writer strike looms as negations heat up in Hollywood. (KABC)

The possibility of a writer strike looms in Hollywood after months of heated negotiations.

Hollywood writers walked out of their jobs ten years ago, bringing the entertainment industry to a standstill during a 100-day strike over wages.

Writers Guild of America said now despite massive profits, their share has been getting smaller.

"The companies for whom we work for made $51 billion last year. That is the best year they have ever had. At the same time, writer incomes have plummeted in the last two years by a 23 percent decline," Chris Keyser with the Writers Guild of America Negotiating Committee said.

While the entertainment industry has grown with the expansion of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, Keyser said writers have to work the same amount of time for less pay.

"Television is no longer 22 episodes a year. Most seasons, it used to be 22, are now eight, 10 or 12," Keyser explained. "I'm doing a show now for Amazon and I get eight fees and I'm still working nearly a year."

Keyser said the guild was far from a strike, but the committee has asked for a strike authorization vote from their members.

"I'm the house hold of the family so it affects me a lot because I have to make my mortgage, I have to make my bills," studio worker Jesus Navarro said.

"Most of the productions will be shut down, which on our TV show we have over 150 people," studio worker Paul Lindsey explained.

Jack Kyser, a local economist at the time said the 2007 strike cost the local economy $2.1 billion. The strike not only impacted those working in the industry, but also small businesses.

"We'll spend as much time as necessary to avoid actually having to walk out," Keyser said.

Negotiations were expected to start back up on Monday. Eyewitness News reached out to the studios for comment and has not heard back.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ABC7.
Related Topics:
entertainmentstrikelabor unionsunion contractunionsHollywoodLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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