1988 Writers Guild of America strike

1988 Writers Guild Of America Strike

1988 Writers Guild of America strike

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The 1988 Writers Guild of America strike was a strike action taken by members of both the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) against major United States television and film studios represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The strike, which ran from March 7 to August 7, 1988, affected production on movies and TV shows. At 155 days, it remains the longest strike in the Guild's history, surpassing the 1960 Writers Guild of America strike by one week and the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike by seven weeks.


Formal negotiations between the writers guilds and producers began in January 1988. The main disagreements, The Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2007 from Los Angeles Times, 8/4/1988 included:
  • residuals for hour-long shows (producers, claiming syndicated reruns of these shows were performing poorly in syndication, wanted a softened, percentage-based formula; writers wanted a residual hike)
  • expanded creative rights (the writers wanted consultation on the choice of actors and directors for some projects)
  • cost cuts in other areas (a producers demand)

The guilds' previous deal with producers expired on February 29, 1988. One day later, 96% of guild membership authorized a strike. On March 7, 1988, one day after rejecting a softened final offer from producers, 9,000 movie and television writers went on...
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