Writer’s Guild of Canada Votes to Strike: ‘Pivotal Moment’

Photo from Hermes Rivera via Unsplash

Writer’s Guild of Canada Votes to Strike: ‘Pivotal Moment’

By Movieguide® Contributor

The Writers Guild of Canada has decided to strike, following the Writers Guild of America’s 2023 strike that put the entertainment industry on pause for 148 days.

Per Deadline, “The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) has ‘overwhelmingly’ voted in favor of authorizing strike action if there is no resolution to the ongoing talks with the Canadian Media Producers Association. Some 96.5%…voted in favor of a strike mandate, with the week-long voting period also marking the highest turnout in WGC history with 70.2% of eligible voters involved.”

“This strike authorization vote, a first in the Guild’s 33-year history, represents a pivotal moment for Canadian screenwriters. It underscores our members’ commitment to securing fair compensation and meaningful AI protections in an ever-evolving industry,” WGC Executive Director Victoria Shen stated.

The Hollywood Reporter explained, “Key stumbling blocks in the Canadian labor talks are securing fair compensation for writers, protections against evolving artificial intelligence technologies on live action and animation projects, and minimum writers room staffing on domestic TV series.”

“While a strong strike mandate does not necessarily mean we will strike, it tells the producers we are ready to defend ourselves if necessary,” Shen added. “We remain committed to negotiating a fair agreement for our members.”

Sean Porter, the Canadian Media Producers Association Vice President, National Industrial Relations and Counsel, responded, “The CMPA remains at the table and is committed to a negotiated settlement with the WGC. Canadian producers value the work of Canadian screenwriters and sincerely believe that future Canadian projects should be written by humans, not AI algorithms.”

“We believe a labour dispute would be extremely damaging to the domestic Canadian film and television production sector and we remain focused on successfully concluding negotiations,” Porter added.

“Our members understand what’s at stake in these negotiations, and I am proud of the strength of their support in this vote,” said WGC President Alex Levine. “We cannot let producers devalue us and our work. We are standing strong and together to secure a future for Canadian screenwriters.”

Movieguide® previously reported on the WGA strike last year:

The Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) went on the strike at the beginning of May due to low salaries and concerns over A.I. in the writer’s room. After more than two months, the Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG) joined the strike, citing similar reasons. 

Without writers or actors, nearly every television and movie production have been forced to come to a halt, setting the stage for a barren content future if negotiations are not quickly resolved. 

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