All of your favorite TV shows and movies may become significantly less eventful this week, as members of the Writers Guild Of America are threatening to go on a strike—and if a mysteriously leaked memo is anything to go by, it really might end up happening on Tuesday. As reported by Variety, the WGA and the Alliance Of Motion Picture And Television Producers are meeting today in order to try and agree on new contract terms, with the WGA hoping to get an additional $156 million annually from the AMPTP to pay writers. If a deal doesn’t happen by midnight on Monday, the WGA will strike, derailing pretty much everything in the entertainment industry. During the last strike, which began in November of 2007 and continued into February of 2008, tons of TV shows were forced to cut their seasons short, movies were unable to bring in writers for script rewrites, and talk show hosts were forced to fill time with dramatic stunts that required no writers.
This afternoon, according to a separate Variety report, a mysterious and decidedly unofficial WGA memo has leaked out that warns strike captains to consider packing up “anything great” they’ve left on studio lots on Monday, because they need to be ready to strike on Tuesday. The memo seems to suggest that a strike is looking very likely, as it also includes information about picketing schedules, but nobody—at least nobody outside of WGA leadership—really knows what will happen until Monday night.
Variety notes that the 2007 strike was pretty brutal for everyone involved, with WGA members losing “$287 million in compensation that was never recovered,” in addition to deals that fell through and the many people who had to take out loans in order to make ends meet while on strike. Not to mention the impact it had on the TV and movie-loving public, which got stuck with a bad Friday Night Lights season, bad James Bond and Transformers movies, and Conan O’Brien spinning his wedding ring on his desk every night for several minutes at a time.