US media professionals think that writers have the power in studio pay dispute – and that a deal is in the offing
April 21st, 2023, Mike Woods

US media professionals think that writers have the power in studio pay dispute – and that a deal is in the offing

Amid contract negotiations with major studios, Hollywood film and TV writers have voted to authorize a strike when their contract expires on May 1. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced that nearly 98% of voting members are in favor of the potential walk out.

Latest data from YouGov Surveys: Self-serve reveals what people in the US media industry think about the writer’s strike.

For starters, there is a lot of uncertainty about whether respondents think a strike will take place, with over half our sample saying they don’t know (54%) and only over a quarter saying a strike would happen (28%). But, regardless, a plurality (around two in five media professionals) believe that it is in the best interest for writers to strike (40%).

The action would be the first strike in 15 years with the last one taking place in 2007-2008. Yet nearly half of our media industry sample are unsure about whether writers achieved their goal during that strike (50%), while the share of respondents who say they achieved it (27%) is similar to those who say they didn’t (23%). However, the respondents believe that if a writers’ strike were to happen, writers would have more leverage than the studios (33% vs. 21%).

A strike by the WGA means that many TV and movie productions would go on hold. If the industrial action does go ahead, 33% of American media professionals expect it to last for no more than three months, while around a quarter predict the strike will go on for less than a month (25%). Around one in ten say they expect the strike to last for more than six months (10%).

The confidence levels that the leadership teams of the WGA and the studios would reach a deal in the event of a strike is high. While only around two in ten industry professionals (20%) are very confident that the leadership teams would reach a deal, the share of this group who are somewhat confident doubles (44%).

Only around one fifth (21%) of media professionals believe that studios want a strike so they can cut costs, with a further two-fifths unsure about this premise (39%). But a plurality of our sample don’t believe that this is studios’ motivation in failing to strike deal (40%).

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Methodology: YouGov polled 640 US media professional on March 16, 2023. The survey was carried out through YouGov Surveys: Self-serve. Data is weighted by age, gender, education level, region, and social grade. Results are nationally representative of adults in Great Britain. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Self-serve.

This survey first appeared in Variety

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