As the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike continues to disrupt Hollywood productions, filming in Hungary remains unaffected, providing an alternative for studios looking to avoid production delays.
The strike began on Tuesday, when around 11,500 WGA members claimed that the studios have “created a gig economy inside a union workforce” due to the streaming TV era.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents major studios like Walt Disney Co and Netflix Inc, refutes the WGA‘s claims, stating that writing movies or TV shows in Hollywood is vastly different from standard “gig” jobs. The AMPTP explains that most TV writers are employed on a weekly or episodic basis, with guaranteed specified weeks or episodes, and receive “substantial” benefits including healthcare, pension plan contributions, and paid parental leave.
Writers argue that they are working more and earning less as studios prioritize streaming services over traditional TV and cable. They note that although the median number of weeks of employment for a writer on a streaming series is between 20 and 24, their pay must cover agent and lawyer fees, and they may struggle to find additional writing work after their initial 24 weeks.
The ongoing strike has already impacted late-night talk shows, including “Jimmy Kimmel Live”, and could further disrupt the fall TV season. Drew Barrymore recently withdrew from hosting this Sunday’s MTV Movie & TV Awards in solidarity with the striking writers, stating, “I have listened to the writers, and in order to truly respect them, I will pivot from hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards live in solidarity with the strike.”
While the strike’s effects continue to ripple through Hollywood, productions in Hungary – like Alien: Romulus, The Brutalist, and Dune: The Sisterhood, to name a few – remain unscathed, offering an alternative filming location for studios seeking to maintain their schedules amidst the ongoing labor dispute.