I have not been following this , but it just popped in two places almost at the same time. Hollywood writers are apparently just about to strike as their contract expires. The Los Angeles Times says the strike looks likely.
It's a script many had hoped would not be written: Hollywood's film and TV scribes and their employers failed to reach an agreement on a new contract today, setting the stage for a possible showdown that could ripple across the streets of Los Angeles and into America's living rooms. Despite the presence of a federal mediator and more than a dozen bargaining sessions since July, negotiators for the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers broke off talks before hashing out a last-minute deal on a new three-year contract.
Talks ended after several hours tonight, about six hours before the current contract expires at midnight.
In a statement, the alliance said talks broke down after its chief negotiator, Nick Counter, outlined the producers' opposition to raising the pay writers receive when their work is released on DVD — a key guild demand.
"We want to make a deal," he told WGA negotiators. "We think doing so is in your best interests, in your members' best interests, in the best interests of our companies and in the best interests of the industry. But, as I said, no further movement is possible to close the gap between us so long as your DVD proposal remains on the table."
The alliance said WGA members refused to meet Thursday. "When they were asked about Friday, they advised they would call us."
Guild officials were not immediately available for comment.
The development doesn't guarantee an immediate walkout by writers but certainly heightens the prospect of Hollywood's first major strike in nearly two decades.
The last strike caused real damage says the Times of London.
A writers’ strike would be the first such walkout in Hollywood since 1988, when a dispute lasting 22 weeks cost the industry an estimated $500 million and killed off several television shows. Viewing figures fell by 10 per cent during the strike — a fall from which the industry never recovered.
Because of the long production times of films, and the stockpiling of screenplays by studios, the effect of industrial action would probably not be felt at cinemas until late next year at least.
But late night talk shows would go off the air at once. The real danger here is that media has changed – dramatically – in the past 20 years. With other sources of entertainment like the web – television, movies and the writers could all take some serious damage if the audience simply goes away. If folks find new ways to amuse themselves, they might not come back anytime soon.