This story was originally posted on Passionfruit.
Over the past several weeks, I’ve drawn some comparisons between the ongoing WGA strike and issues facing digital creators every day as they build their careers and grow audiences online. This week, as we wait for the results of SAG-AFTRA’s negotiations with the Hollywood studios, I’m going to begin segueing away from a strict focus on the entertainment industry, and fully over to the creator side of things.
For this final “Things Creators Can Learn from the Writers Strike” column, I’m looking at the ways creators are taking control of their own destinies, even without the ability to fully collectivize as TV and film writers have.
Animation and TV writer David Slack has worked on a number of shows and franchises you probably know, from “Teen Titans” to “Law & Order” to that underrated “MacGyver” reboot CBS aired in the mid-’00s. This week, he posted a thread on Twitter—really, an open letter to studio executives and their corporate overlords—explaining just what has made his fellow writers so angry.
Among Slack’s complaints are all the usual issues I’ve highlighted in this column for the past few months: residual fees that haven’t kept up with the cost of living, mini-rooms that prevent writers from turning gigs into steady and reliable careers, a lack of transparency about viewership and the renewal process, the looming threat of competition from AI chatbots, and so forth.