Entertainment industry strikes won’t stop until fair agreement, writer says

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - It’s been more than 100 days since the Writers Guild of America went on strike. But entertainment industry professionals say they will hold out until their demands are met.

Sylvia Jones, who has written and produced shows for Showtime and Starz, came to Atlanta News First to talk about the strike. The union is asking for higher wages, protection from AI and fair streaming residuals.

“Until that happens, we’re staying the course,” Jones said.

The strike has impacted many entertainment hotspots — including Atlanta. A report in June found that Georgia has the country’s fastest-growing film industry, valued at $4.4 billion. Efforts are largely concentrated in Atlanta, but business is spreading quickly in other areas as well, the report found.

On July 14, the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) also joined the strike. It’s been 63 years since Hollywood actors and writers last went on strike together.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Hollywood strike matches the 100-day mark of the last writers strike in 2007-2008

The Writers Guild of America told members that it reopened negotiations with studios and streaming giants last Friday.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Striking screenwriters will resume negotiations with studios on Friday

Jones said that the strike is difficult for everybody, not just writers and actors. Makeup artists, camera operators, lighting specialists and other professionals have also felt the economic impact. But as TV changes, contracts must change too, she said.

RELATED: Atlanta film industry workers rely on other creative talents during strike

Jones will soon hold her second annual writers’ retreat and workshop, “Sounds Like Joy.” From Aug. 24-27, people from all over the country will gather in Chicago, Illinois, to learn how to break into the entertainment writing industry.

“It’s still a wonderful job. It’s a wonderful business,” Jones said. “But so many people don’t know how to do it. They don’t know how to get started.”

Hope Dean

Hope Dean

Hope Dean is a digital content producer with Atlanta News First. She previously reported for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Fresh Take Florida.