Writer’s Strike is Affecting California’s Economy by Almost $30M per Day

Writers Guild of America’s negotiating committee has given studios a warning.

The writers’ strike that has entered its third week is reportedly taking a toll on California’s economy, affecting the state by almost $30 million a day. According to Deadline, the guild’s negotiating committee sent out a message on May 16 to membership addressing the issue.

“The Writers Guild of America has now been on strike for two weeks because the AMPTP refuses to negotiate a fair deal to address the existential crisis writers are facing,” the message read. “The WGA estimates the proposals on the table at contract expiration on May 1 would cost the industry collectively $429 million per year, approximately $343 million of which is attributable to eight of our largest employers.”

Complex reported that the estimate takes into account the $2.1 billion lost between 2007 and 2008 from the WGA’s 100-day strike. Adding inflation into the equation, the 2023 estimate would reflect a loss of $30 million per day.

The WGA argued that “companies have made billions in profit off writers’ work, and they tell their investors every quarter about the importance of scripted content. Yet they are risking significant continued disruption in the coming weeks and months that would far outweigh the costs of settling.”

The message follows an error in a prior message from WGA East VP Lisa Takeuchi Cullen that read, “Based on prior estimates, the strike could be costing about $30 million a day in lost studio output. A DAY.” The new message clarified the strike is affecting the California economy rather than the studios.

The letter is signed by co-chairs David A. Goodman and Chris Keyser, along with Chief Negotiator Ellen Stutzman, and over two dozen others.

A studio executive responded to the WGA’s message regarding its estimates saying, “They are baseless and just made up to gin up their membership and make for provocative headlines.”