WGA Writer’s Strike, Funny Picket Signs: Writers Guild of America went on a strike on 1 May with the hope of fair compensation for their work. It’s not the first time they needed to bring their demands to the notice of studios and production houses. A protest also happened over 15 years ago. We, the viewers, know about it due to its impact on the first season of Breaking Bad

Despite all these years, the writers rightfully expect fair wages and put forth their valid demands. Thousands of screenwriters working for the film and television industries stopped their work and started protesting outside big studios and production houses. They began walking with picket signs that read, ‘Writers Guild on Strike’ and used the empty spaces underneath to grab our attention by letting their creative juices flow. Here are the best picket signs of the Hollywood writers’ strike: 

Rage against the Studios

The digital disruption in the film and television industries has deeply affected the earnings of writers. While the studios keep making increasing amounts of profits, the writers do not get the royalties they once used to get as per the re-airing. Meaning – several films and shows are now available to watch anytime, thanks to streaming, and it benefits the viewers. But the repeat-broadcasting on traditional television used to have a share of royalties for the writers, which has reduced to nothing.

So, the Writers Guild is asking for generous compensation for screenwriters as well as improvements in streaming residuals. They are expressing their anger by chanting slogans like 

‘Fists up, pencils down, L.A. is a union town’

‘1-2-3-4 we won’t take it anymore, 5-6-7-8, Warner Bros negotiate’

‘Whose stories? Our Stories!’

Besides, the picket signs put forth the writers’ vexation. Some of these signs said:  

‘Pencils down, middle fingers up.’

WGA Strike Pencil Down Middle Finder Up

‘We came here to live the dream, not lose it all to stream.’

‘Here’s a pitch: pay us!’ 

‘Nobody puts WGA in a corner.’ 

‘Residual anger.’

‘Writers make studios rich — studios make writers strike.’  

‘It’s giving corporate greed.’

‘Evil corporations are a movie trope for a reason.’

‘I’M MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE’ WAS NOT WRITTEN BY A PRODUCER!’ – in reference to the dialogue from the 1976 film – Network.

The AI Threat

With the recent advent of ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence tool, the writers started getting increasingly anxious. The studios started giving preference to this chatbot due to its convenience. They essentially found a robot to get the words out as they see fit. What they did not take into account is how the chatbot provides only a regurgitation of the information fed to it. In the current climate of a dearth of originality with the rise of tentpole movies and remakes, AI overuse becomes yet another aspect of worry for the creative industry. 

The writers are smart enough to understand this threat without needing someone else’s support – as ChatGPT does! The writers do not want artificial intelligence to replace screenwriters. So, they propose that AI-generated text should not be used as source material or to rewrite work that is covered by the union’s contract. To highlight this aspect, the protesting writers found clever ways. They started taking digs at this unjust Studio practice. Some of their picket lines say:

‘Alexa will not replace us!’

WGA Strike: Picket Line Alexa Will Not Replace us

‘Alexa, pay me!’

‘Wrote Chat GPT this’

‘Don’t let AI take a slice of my pie’

‘You can’t solve the problem of AI with a training video’

‘ChatGPT doesn’t have childhood trauma’

Wrote ChatGPT This

Humour & Throwback

New York and Los Angeles are one of the nation’s most expensive cities. So the writers express how their struggle is neither romantic nor funny. Remember how people say, ‘Choose a Job You Love, and You Will Never Work a Day.’ Well, as it turns out, passion does not turn into money by itself. Picking up on the same anger, the writers took their anger to the streets with some hilarious placards. The writers do what they do best and make us chuckle during their challenging times. 

Because of the glorious success of the chart-busting HBO tragicomedy – Succession, some trending topical signs quickly grab our attention: 

‘Pay your writers, or we’ll spoil ‘Succession.’

'Pay your writers, or we’ll spoil ‘Succession.’

‘WGA vs. Succession characters.’

‘They have ludicrously capricious salaries. What’s even in there? 773 million? Greg, it’s monstrous. It’s gargantuan!’ – something that Tom Wambsgans says in a corporate satire to Greg Hirsch, aka Cousin Greg. 

WGA Strike

‘Without writers, Meredith Grey would not be a surgeon, no students could attend Abbott Elementary, and Logan Roy would be alive!’

Some other particularly humourous signs said: 

Netflix, We Got Beef‘ 

‘Now you’ve done it, You pissed off the creator of The Wire’

Wire Picket Sign

‘Pay nerds a fair wage’ 

‘Without writers, Jenna Ortega will have nothing to punch up!’ a sign said in reference to the Wednesday actress’s remarks about the writing for this Netflix series. 

Related to WGA Writer’s Strike: WGA Strike: Impact to spread across Hollywood, will result in loss of more jobs

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