Los Angeles Times: David Smith Comments on COVID-19 Impacts on Writers' Strike
Until a few weeks ago, film and television business executives had been making contingency plans to prepare for a possible strike by writers. More than 10,000 members from the Writers Guild of America have been vocal for months on how many of them have been left behind by the boom in streaming. The COVID-19 has created a new and harsh reality for writers and other industry workers, many who lost their jobs and are facing financial losses. Meanwhile, a few high-profile guild members have rallied to help production cancellations, which has caused more than 100,000 job losses in the film and TV business.
As the country faces a high likelihood of a recession, it will be more difficult for the guild to build support for a walkout for writers and other industry workers that are currently faced with having to find a new job. "Unions do really rely on public support and sentiment for their positions. My sense is that the public sentiment for any work stoppage, or any sort of dispute that could be pinned on the union, would be declining. A lot of people are relying on entertainment right now to get by," said Dave Smith, economic professor at Pepperdine Graziadio. Read more.