Writers Guild Of America Strike Shuts Down Several Productions Including ‘Andor’, ‘Cobra Kai’, And Upcoming ‘Game Of Thrones’ Prequel
The WGA's atest strike has shut down work on several productions, including 'Andor', 'Cobra Kai', and the next 'Game of Thrones' prequel.
On May 2nd, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) authorized their first strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) in 15 years, and as a result of Hollywood scribes having replaced their pencils with picket signs, multiple productions have been halted until the union gets “a fair and equitable deal“.
The related shut downs have been slowly revealed over the past few two weeks by their respective creative teams.
Ashley Lyle, the co-creator of Showtime’s Emmy-award winning Yellowjackets, announced the show’s hiatus a day before the strike officially began, tweeting on May 1st, “Well, we had exactly one day in the Yellowjackets S3 writers’ room. It was amazing, and creatively invigorating, and so much fun, and I’m really excited to get back to it as soon as the WGA gets a fair deal.”
Two-episode Abbott Elementary writer Brittani Nichols told progressive news publication Democracy Now that the series “that writes while we air. If this strike goes on for a significant period of time, our show will not come out on time and that could change the amount of episodes which I’m sure people will be very upset about.”
Hollywood screenwriters of @WGAWest are going on strike. They are fighting for a living wage in the streaming era, says Abbott Elementary writer @BisHilarious, who calls the industry a "gig economy," where studios prioritize Wall Street, not workers. pic.twitter.com/GDxWvfi5ZJ
— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) May 2, 2023
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Shutting down production on the sixth and final season of the popular franchise revival, Cobra Kai co-creator Jon Hurwitz declared, “We hate to strike, but if we must, we strike hard. Pencils down in the Cobra Kai writers room. No writers on set.”
“These aren’t fun times, but it’s unfortunately necessary,” he added. “The moment a fair deal is in place, we’ll get back to kicking ass. In the meantime, sending strength and support to the negotiating committee. You got this.”
Stranger Thing‘s creators The Duffer Brothers that the series finale of their Netflix series would also stop production in solidarity with the WGA.
“Writing does not stop when filming begins.” They acknowledged. “While we’re excited to start production with our amazing cast and crew, it is not possible during this strike. We hope a fair deal is reached soon so we can all get back to work. Until then — over and out.”
Confirming a report by Deadline that the third season of her HBO dramedy had likewise been put on pause, Hacks co-creator Jen Statsky confirmed on May 5th, “We are devastated to not be with our incredible crew and cast right now, but there was no other option here.”
“Writing happens at every stage of the process – production and post included,” she continued. “It’s what makes shows and movies good. It’s what makes them possible.”
In an essay-length blog post, George R.R. Martin revealed that he had closed the writers room for the Game of Thrones prequel A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight in order to show support for the WGA.
“The writers’ strike is on,” Martin declared. “No one wanted this — no writer with an ounce of sense, anyway — but the producers and the studios and the networks and the streamers gave us no choice.”
Two days later, Katori Hall, the creator and showrunner of Starz’s P-Valley, announced that filming on the strip club drama’s third season had also entered into a voluntary and indefinite hiatus.
“Despite rumors, due to the #WGA #WritersStrike filming on #PValley has been postponed,” she stated on May 10th. “Like many of my fellow showrunners, I feel as though my writing & producing duties are inextricably linked. We will not be filming until a fair deal is reached. #WGAStrong.”
“I am also a member of the #DGA [Director’s Guild Association], whose #AMPTP contract begins negotiations TODAY,” she further explained. “Overlapping issues abound and we shall see how these stories end. As a writer I strike with a sense of radical dignity – that our work must be valued for the magic it is. #WGAStrong #WritersStrike.”
In a statement given to The Hollywood Reporter after he was accused of ‘scabbing’ during the strike, Disney’s Andor creator and showrunner Tony Gilroy revealed, “I discontinued all writing and writing-related work on Andor prior to midnight, May 1.”
“After being briefed on the Saturday showrunner meeting, I informed Chris Keyser at the WGA on Sunday morning that I would also be ceasing all non-writing producing functions,” he recalled.
In a statement to Reuters, co-showrunner and executive producer of Hulu’s Emmy Award winning The Handmaid’s Tale Yahlin Chang confirmed that the dystopian series had also halted production on its sixth and final season.
Per Variety, work on the final season of Netflix’s animated Big Mouth has also been shut down. Prior to the strike, Big Mouth‘s writers had reportedly been around six weeks into writing, and the series conclusion was originally scheduled to complete production in August.
And it seems these strike-related halts are not just limited to television.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel’s attempt to make a PG-13 version of Blade starring Mahershala Alihas also suffered yet another setback thanks to the strike, with pre-production reportedly being buried until the labor dispute comes to an end.
As of this writing, Blade is scheduled for a Sept. 6, 2024 release.