Television and movie writers in Hollywood late Monday declared they will launch a strike for the first time in 15 years over fair pay in the streaming era.

The Writers Guild of America said its 11,500 unionized screenwriters will head to the picket lines on Tuesday. 

Negotiations between studios and the writers, which began in March, failed to reach a new contract before the writers’ current deal expired just after midnight, at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday.

All script writing is to immediately cease, the guild informed its members.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the trade association that bargains on behalf of both studios and production companies, signaled negotiations fell short of an agreement before the current contract expired. 

Streaming has exploded the number of series and films that are annually made, meaning more jobs for writers.

But WGA members say they’re making much less money and working under more strained conditions as WGA claims Content is booming, but the pay is down.

The guild is seeking more compensation on the front-end of deals as many of the back-end payments writers have historically profited from, like syndication and international licensing have been largely phased out by the onset of streaming. 

With a walkout long expected, writers have rushed to get scripts in and studios have sought to prepare their pipelines to keep churning out content for at least the short term.

FRCN Abuja/Adetutu Adetule

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