Writers Strike Looms Over Hollywood

The Writers Guild of America is announcing Friday when the 12,000 film and television writers that make up its membership will go on strike. That could be as early as Monday.

Carl DiOrio, labor editor at The Hollywood Reporter, says there are two major issues in the talks — how the writers are compensated for DVD sales and the distribution of content over the Internet. The writers want their DVD compensation doubled from the 4 cents per DVD they receive now. The studios have balked at the request.

For now, DiOrio says, the writers are not asking for compensation from content distributed on the Internet. But they want a deal in place for when the studios figure out how to make a profit on the Internet. The studios don't want a deal in place until they begin turning a profit.

Should the writers strike on Monday, picketing is likely to take place across Los Angeles, DiOrio says. The city's mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, says he will serve as an arbiter in the dispute and both parties think he might be able to help them reach an agreement.

DiOrio says if the strike takes place, fans of late night talks shows should expect to watch repeats for a while. Because of the timeliness of the shows' material, they are likely to be effected first.

DiOrio talks to Alex Chadwick about the strike and how it could affect Hollywood.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.