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The Film Industry Is Nothing Without Its Writers

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

If you’ve been paying attention to Hollywood news recently, you know that the Writers Guild of America (WGA) is currently on strike. The union has been rallying for a fair contract from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) since their three year contract expired on May 1, 2023. The WGA went on strike the next day and has been picketing ever since. 

With the strike lasting over 130 days and counting, it’s hard to believe it will ever reach a fair conclusion. Writers begging studios for changes in their work conditions, threats to their jobs  due to AI, and the structure of their compensation and being vehemently denied makes the future of the entertainment industry seem bleak. The field has already had around 17,000 jobs lost during the strike, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The strike has already had irreversible consequences on the industry, which could be catastrophic if things continue in this way. 

As a creative writer, it is terrifying to enter an industry that no longer values writers for their immense contributions in film and television. All of your favorite books, tv shows, plays, songs, and movies were created by writers who put their hearts and souls into these projects. Each writer’s individual scope of imagination and unique lived experiences ensure us heartfelt and entertaining original stories that last for generations. But what will become of the entertainment industry if writers are pushed out? 

AI technology has been a big subject for debate lately, and it’s particularly frustrating for writers when sites like ChatGPT have the potential to write scripts for studios, essentially cutting people out of that stage of the creative process. However, I think studios who attempt to go in that direction will find themselves severely disappointed. Nothing with genuine heart that is wholly original can ever come from an AI written script. Without writers, good television and film will cease to exist. 

Statistics from Data USA show that 6,817 creative writing degrees were awarded in 2021, which was a 3.51% increase from the year before. This doesn’t even include the many screenwriting, film making, english, journalism, etc. majors that will also pursue careers in creative writing and the entertainment industry. What kind of world are these young creatives walking into? One that celebrates art or one obsessed with money? The answer is clear now more than ever. 

Negotiations between the WGA and the AMPTP seem to be at a standstill as of Sep. 2023. This is a disheartening situation, but the WGA has no plans to give up anytime soon. To support the WGA in their efforts, you can join the picket line, share your solidarity on social media, or donate to their funds. It’s vital that you show your support in any way that you can, so that we can ensure a brighter future for writers and the film industry. 



Kendra Gilchrist is Senior Editor for Her Campus at MSU. She assists with and edits other members' articles, helps run the editing team, as well as writing her own articles. Gilchrist is a sophomore at Michigan State University studying journalism with a concentration in writing, reporting, and editing. Gilchrist was the Journalism and Copy Editor for her high school yearbook during her senior year and recently interned at her local newspaper. In her free time, Gilchrist likes to read, obsess over tv and movies, go to concerts, and drink way too much coffee.