As expected, the Writers Guild of America has declared a strike, the first in 15 years, after six weeks of “failed” negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

Just after midnight, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) unanimously declared a new strike, the first in 15 years, after weeks of failed negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

As explained by the union, the decision was taken after “six weeks of negotiations with Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, NBCUniversal, Paramount and Sony”, all part of the AMPTP umbrella.

“Though our Negotiating Committee began this process intent on making a fair deal, the studios’ responses have been wholly insufficient given the existential crisis writers are facing.,” the union said on its social networks, announcing that the pickets will begin. This Wednesday at noon.

In a publicly shared document, the WGA explained that one of the main points of discussion with the studios is the minimum number of contract weeks per season: the union wants to establish between 10 and 52 weeks, but the AMPTP seeks a daily contract.

At the same time, the WGA wants to establish a minimum number of writers per TV show, which would vary between 6 and 12 depending on the number of episodes. In this case, the studios refused to argue the point; they did not accept it and did not make a counter offer.

The AMPTP assured, in the words of one of its representatives, that it is willing to improve its offer in other areas, but that these points cannot be part of the new agreement.

The economic difference is huge: there is more than 350 million dollars of distance between both proposals. This is taking into account the demand of the WGA for higher annual increases, improvements in income from streaming, with a direct relationship between the success of the show and what streaming leaves for the writers.

Another interesting detail is that the WGA wants to regulate the use of artificial intelligence in the production of scripts, fearing an explosion in its use.

“The companies’ behavior has created a gig economy inside a union workforce, and their immovable stance in this negotiation has betrayed a commitment to further devaluing the profession of writing,” the WGA states.

“From [the AMPTP’s] refusal to guarantee any level of weekly employment in episodic television, to the creation of a ‘day rate’ in comedy variety, to their stonewalling on free work for screenwriters and on AI for all writers, they have closed the door on their labour force and opened the door to writing as an entirely freelance profession. No such deal could ever be contemplated by this membership,” assured the union.

“Here is what all writers know: the companies have broken this business,” the guild leadership told members Monday night, according to Variety. “They have taken so much from the very people, the writers, who have made them wealthy. But what they cannot take from us is each other, our solidarity, our mutual commitment to save ourselves and this profession that we love. We had hoped to do this through reasonable conversation. Now we will do it through struggle.  For the sake of our present and our future, we have been given no other choice.”

Fifteen years ago, the impact of the US writers’ strike was felt around the world. It affected a number of top series, such as The Sopranos and Breaking Bad and cost the industry about 2,000 million dollars.

On this occasion, all the daily shows will be affected today, such as the famous talk-shows The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, among others.

The series, on the other hand, have weeks of fresh content to be released, but even this will suffer, sooner or later, production stoppage.