Many fans of movies and television are wondering when the ongoing Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) strikes will end and productions can resume, but a new report suggested that they may go on longer than expected.
The WGA officially went on strike on May 2 to fight for higher pay, better working conditions, and job security due to the increasing interest in artificial intelligence.
It is obviously impossible to predict just when these strikes will end, but inside parties already theorized when negotiations could resume.
When Will the Hollywood's Writers & Actors Strikes End?
According to Matt Belloni via his latest Puck newsletter, the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes could realistically go on longer than previously expected and last all the way into the early months of 2024.
Specifically, Belloni stated that the fear now is that negotiations may not resume between the guilds and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) until around next year's Oscars ceremony, meaning that a resolution may not be made until possibly late February.
The last WGA strike that took place from 2007-2008 was used as an example, as that strike ultimately ended due to the Oscars.
The newsletter did include, however, that all parties could come to an agreement sooner if they decide to resume negotiations before then. That doesn't seem likely at the current moment, though, as all three sides seem to be standing their ground.
The 2024 Oscars are scheduled for March 10. If the strikes don't end until just before the awards ceremony, that would mean this would be the longest strike in WGA and SAG-AFTRA history by far.
For reference, the 2007-2008 WGA strike ended on February 12. If this year's strikes ended on that same date in 2024, it would mean that the WGA would strike for 286 days and SAG-AFTRA would strike for 213 days.
Historically, no Hollywood strikes lasted anywhere near that amount of time.
The 1960 WGA strike began on January 16 of that year and ended on June 12, meaning that it lasted for 148 days.
The next writers' strike started on April 11, 1981 and lasted until July 12, 1981, which was only 92 days.
Seven years later in 1988, the WGA went on strike again. This time, it started on March 7, 1988 and ended on August 7, 1988, which is currently the longest in history at 153 days.
As previously mentioned, the last writers' strike that took place was from 2007-2008, and it lasted exactly 100 days from November 5, 2007 to February 12, 2008.
Therefore, if the current WGA strike doesn't end until well into 2024, it would become the longest strike in history and almost double the length of what went on in 1988.
The SAG-AFTRA strikes have never lasted as long as the WGA's have, and there have been significantly fewer throughout the course of history.
The first actors' strike took place on March 7, 1960 and lasted until April 18 of that same year, which was only 42 days.
The SAG-AFTRA then went on strike again on July 21, 1980, which ended around three months later on October 23, 1980, meaning that it lasted 94 days.
What Effect Will the Strikes Have?
When strikes took place in the past, they still affected the entertainment industry as a whole, but 2023 is a lot different than the 1980s.
The industry just came out of a lull that was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic where literally nothing was in production for some time.
The pandemic had a huge impact on not only entertainment but also the economy as a whole.
There are around 160,000 members of SAG-AFTRA and 20,000 members of the WGA. Put together, that means that nearly 180,000 people are out of work, which causes an incredible shift in the economy.
The halting of productions across America also means that major studios such as Disney, Warner Bros., and Universal Studios aren't shelling out nearly as much money as they normally do when films and TV series are in production.
For example, Disney reportedly spent over $300 million on Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny alone, which is a significant amount of money that then circulates through the economy.
With these strikes ongoing, all of the money normally spent on these projects essentially just vanishes.
It is also important to note how much movie theaters are affected by the lack of content as well, as the domestic population generally spends hundreds of millions of dollars every month to go watch new releases.
Some TV shows that are currently on hold right now are FX's American Horror Story, Season 3 of Euphoria, and Season 2 of The Sandman.
In short, the Hollywood strikes have already had an effect on the entertainment industry, and if they continue for as long as they are projected to, fans could see a major shift in the near future of movies and television.