In case you’re unaware, a media blackout is when news on a certain topic is intentionally censored, sometimes voluntarily, and sometimes enforced by law. Historically speaking, media blackouts are usually related to serious events like war to prevent intelligence from being leaked, but in our age of rampant “fake news” and the speed at which information can spread due to social media, self-imposed media blackouts can help quell misinformation from becoming the pervasive narrative.
Since the start of the strikes, the WGA and SAG-AFTRA have been very transparent with their approach to negotiations. They’ve alerted their members whenever movement has taken place, and they’ve publicly released their demands at the AMPTP’s counter offers (or lack thereof) using laymen’s terms for accessibility. So if you see something about strike negotiations that are not directly reported on by one of the unions, it’s leaked information with an intentional spin to push a perspective. One of the best examples of this was yesterday when Deadline reported “We heard that WGA strike captains and negotiating committee met Monday to parse through the studios’ offer,” only for multiple strike captains, including “V/H/S/99” writer/director Maggie Levin to confirm that no meeting took place.
Similarly, Variety reported that the WGA proposed a minimum of six to 12 writers on staff, while quoting an anonymous showrunner who claimed, “Nobody asked for this […] Every showrunner I know is against this.” Meanwhile, countless showrunners are ratioing the article to death on Twitter with various expressions of “I asked for this,” including “Hacks” co-creator Jen Statsky who said, “I’m a showrunner who is very much for this and knows that there were thousands of survey responses from WGA members who did, in fact, ask for it.”
So, once again, unless it’s coming directly from one of the unions, any information released by trade publications regarding the strikes should not be taken as gospel. Lest we forget, the strikes are not the fault of the WGA or SAG-AFTRA, but those with more power and money than a majority of members of both guilds will see in a lifetime combined that are in desperate need of positive public relations.
Strike hard. Stay strong.