The Writers Guild of America (WGA) is currently in its third month of job action (causing plenty of production disruptions across the industry), as the screenwriters seek a new deal with the studios.
The biggest sticking points amongst WGA members have been the threat of a studio's use of artificial intelligence and a reworked residual model for streaming series like those on Disney+.
With word that the strike "isn't ending anytime soon," dirty laundry has continued to be aired by both sides.
She-Hulk Writer Takes on Bob Iger
Responding to recent comments from Disney CEO Bob Iger, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law writer Cody Ziglar responded to the executive online.
Ziglar tweeted, revealing his surprisingly low residual payment for his work on She-Hulk.
He wrote, "The residual check from my episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law was $396," after Iger was quoted as saying (via Variety) the striking writers of Hollywood are not being "realistic" with their demands (including revamped residual models for streaming).
The Numbers of Being a Screenwriter in 2023
As the writers' strike goes on and the Hollywood machine comes to a grinding halt (with the actors now set to join them on picket lines), it is important to stay informed about what each side is actually fighting for.
The WGA has been vocal about wanting to reevaluate how pay works when it comes to writers in the streaming era.
Gone are the days of network television hits where a writers' room hits it big and gets paid out the nose in residuals for their work.
For comparison, according to 2021 Guild data, the average television writer in Hollywood made between $10,000 and $20,000 in residuals per episode of network primetime TV.
Given the industry's continued movement towards an all-streaming future, one can see why the WGA would want the studios to rethink how they tackle streaming payment.
On the studio's side, the reluctance to pay out higher streaming residuals comes from the fact that it is inherently difficult to translate that equation of 'this many traditional TV viewers mean this many dollars in residuals' to a streaming world when anything can be viewed on-demand at any time.
This is especially the case because on traditional television there are advertisers paying the studios in those network TV blocks. That is (at least most of the time) not the case on streaming.
This, among a bevy of other things, are where the two sides have seen the most friction, and given that neither the studios nor the WGA seem ready to budge, it looks as though this strike could last a long while.