WGA Strike: Judd Apatow’s Existential Opinion

Judd Apatow made some statements about the WGA strike. He believes the strike is not a surprise. He even goes so far as to say it may be a calculated business move by some of Hollywood’s larger controlling interests. His view of the writer-producer ecosystem sheds a lot of light on today’s entertainment industry and the business world in general. He said there was an “existential problem” with employing writers.

Apatow recognizes the impact social media and AI have had on the industry and that the industry’s relationship with writers hasn’t changed in over a decade. In a changing world, he demands that writers be rewarded for their merits instead of receiving the same amount despite their success. His perspective is unique; He writes, directs and has his own production company. The Hollywood heavyweight has spoken out in favor of the WGA. And while he has good insight into the strike, the key takeaway from his comments is that it may take more than one contract to fix Hollywood.

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Judd Apatow’s position

Writers Guild of America strike
The New York Times

Judd Apatow is known for producing hilarious romantic comedies and keeping Paul Rudd busy. Some of his greatest films are The 40 year old virgin, pregnantAnd The King of Staten Island. He spoke to Variety on his position on the WGA strike at benefit.

The article’s title is about how Apatow is convinced that this whole strike situation could work in favor of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers rather than the WGA. He said it never looked like these drastic measures would be necessary.

“I always think whatever might happen, they could have figured it out already. When these things are completed, you never think, “I see why it took so long.” It’s never something so imaginative and groundbreaking that you think, “Oh, people had to go to war for months to do this.” That is always a very obvious position,” Apatow said. “The scary thing is that there is a solution, but I’m not sure all business interests are interested in moving to a solution quickly.”

In a way he’s right. The big producers could always make life easier for those who actually make the films. Aside from the fact that there’s no incentive to be proactive with their employees’ wealth, it would cost increasing amounts of money to make their lives easier. It is not in a company’s interest to increase its own overhead costs.

So it would not be an exaggeration to assume that the AMPTP has already conducted a financial assessment to weigh the downside of how long the strike will last and how much it will give to the WGA in its contract. It’s just good business.

Related: Here’s Every Judd Apatow Movie, Rated

He even said the strike will continue to have an impact on the industry after it ends.

“[…] Because we’re in development on a lot of things, so you just have to stop… Then as soon as the strike ends, everyone says, ‘Oh, now we’ve got a backlog, we don’t need anything.’ That aspect complicates everything we’re trying to do.” , continued Apatov. “We’re busy with nothing but writing right now.”

He admits that the system basically harms itself. No matter what the outcome, the writers are always in a difficult position. A strike may be the only way to get executives to listen, but the fact that they’re willing to let writers go on strike long enough to give them the least is a sign that the deal we’re getting these two parties may achieve a greater is a band-aid for a gunshot wound rather than a real solution.

How to fix the entertainment industry

Writers Guild Strike signs licensed under CC BY 2.0

Before the strike began, word had spread that AMPTP’s producers had stocked up on scripts in fear of the protracted strike ahead. The WGA also demonstrated the strength of its position when SNL’s editors threatened to go on strike and got what they wanted before they had to.

But no matter how strong or prepared one or the other party may be, this does not change its dynamic. Producers will continue to do their best to reduce their reliance on writers who make themselves valuable.

Related: WGA strike: Which shows are hardest hit?

Judd Apatow believes the industry should reward a writer’s ability. That means; A writer would be paid more depending on the success of the film he was writing. He points out that so far there is no incentive to reward better writing quality. But if producers would rather avoid incentivizing good writers, then there’s no reason to be. Apatow said:

“That’s why it’s an existential problem. If the author ecosystem doesn’t exist, nobody will learn how to do it.”

He points out that there are other career paths in the same creative direction. It takes similar skills to become a TikTok influencer or write video games. He points out that if you can’t survive as a writer, the entire industry could easily collapse. Producers are no doubt betting on AI and smaller writing spaces, but These issues are up for debate also contained in the contract of the WGA.

The situation is only getting more complicated as the industry evolves, and no doubt the long-term writers’ strike is upon us.

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