Members of WGA walk with pickets on strike outside the Culver Studio with centered sign reading 'Internet Creators On Strike!' with red overlay Passionfruit Remix

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What creators can learn from the Writers Strike, Part 4: The ‘Blandification’ of Media

The arrival of AI chatbots is just the latest in a long line of industry attempts to sideline high-quality creativity in favor of productivity.


Lon Harris

Internet Culture

Posted on Jun 1, 2023   Updated on Jul 26, 2023, 5:31 pm CDT


In a new weekly column, writer Lon Harris examines how WGA’s organizing can work for the creative industry.


As Hollywood film and TV writers continue their effort to secure better deals from studios and streaming platforms, we’re continuing our ongoing series making thematic connections between the struggles facing these workers and the wider creator community. While it’s not always a direct comparison, many of the same issues facing film and TV writers have parallels for creatives working in social media, videos, and other digital mediums.

For example, the looming threat of job loss to artificial intelligence (AI) potentially impacts creators on every level, across the entertainment and technology industries and beyond. For the Writers Guild, nestled at the end of the last page of their proposals (which largely ask for fairer compensation and increased residuals) is a section about AI. It’s one of the first widespread attempts from a union to pressure industry leaders to regulate the use of AI to replace workers.

The concerns are not just about screenwriters being replaced by dialogue-generating robots. The WGA seeks to limit studios’ ability to employ AI at any point in the process—preventing the use of programs like ChatGPT to generate premises or concepts for films. …

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*First Published: Jun 1, 2023, 11:57 am CDT