It’ll be interesting to see how the Writers Guild of America handles this incident, especially considering their current contract comes to a close on May 1, 2023. The WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers are set to begin negotiations for a new contract on Tuesday, March 20.
While the AMPTP recently made a statement in which they claimed to be committed to “reaching a fair and reasonable deal that brings strength and stability to the industry,” it appears the WGA is concerned going into a new negotiation period. Board member and WGA West affiliate Adam Conover warned fellow WGA members via a video posted to the Guild’s YouTube in January, “Be prepared. The AMPTP’s initial proposals always consist almost entirely of roll-backs and cuts to our compensation and other important protections and benefits.”
All of this is to say that things feel a bit foreboding in the mood between the organizations right now, and the “Young and the Restless” situation definitely only makes the many roles of writers in film and television feel more precarious. Plus, “cost-cutting” seems to be the single most used adjective in the industry right now, as major streamers and production houses are axing already-finished-yet-unreleased seasons of TV and films left and right. There have been past writers’ strikes and breakdowns of trust — remember the clash between the WGA and talent agents in 2019? — in pretty recent memory, but there’s no way to say that it won’t happen again. Besides, we’re already in a moment where creators and artists are feeling increasingly devalued by the powers that make money off of them, and it’s possible writers may feel the need to go on the defense as negotiations begin. Either way, the “Y&R” breakdown staff deserved better than this.