WGA Strike: Scriptnotes Podcast Votes Yes

While both John August and Craig Mazin, the screenwriters who commentate on the popular podcast Scriptnotes, did say that they would be voting yes during the Writers Guild of America strike authorization process, they both point out that it isn’t that straight forward and that this doesn’t necessarily mean that they wish for the WGA to go on strike. In a special mini episode of their podcast, the two screenwriters focused on many of the unknowns for their listeners that are surrounding the WGA renegotiation talks, especially with the deadline quickly approaching. While both state that they are voting yes and recommend that other members of the WGA vote yes, it is with reluctance. Mazin talks on this reluctance stating that he feels that the WGA is somewhat undermining both their bargaining position with the strike authorization against studios, as well as the democratic system of the WGA. Mazin has a solid argument to support this as he claims that the WGA pushes for its members to vote yes and says that if they don’t they won’t have the bargaining power to threaten the WGA with, but he goes on to say that not only does this make many in the WGA feel that they can’t give a no vote, but it also sets up the studios with the expectation that this is going to happen; therefore, they are prepared and will not be flustered during negotiations when the WGA threatens to walk out. His last major point in regards to the strike authorization is that even though the WGA tells its members that a yes vote is just for bargaining power and that they will not go on strike, everytime they have received the majority yes vote from its membership they have gone on strike since the 1970s. The hosts of the podcast bring forth a lot of good information that many listeners likely did not know, but also paint a picture where it seems that a WGA strike is inevitable. Thankfully, one of the last comments of the podcast address the fact that it would be extremely difficult for the current deal to just disappear when it expires, which means that no one’s life in the WGA  will drastically change until a new deal is put in place.

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