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October 9, 2023

Ramifications of the Writers’ Strike: Navigating the Intersection of AI and Creativity

The protests have ended! After 5 months, the Writers Guild of America and major studios have come to an agreement, ending what would have become the longest strike in history for the entertainment industry in the last 70 years.

The Associated Press shared the approved, three-year agreement includes significant wins in the main areas writers had fought for, including compensation, length of employment, size of staff and control of artificial intelligence. 

The compromise deal saw a rise of between 3.5% and 5% for screenwriters along with new residuals, like bonuses, for writers of popular shows on streaming platforms like Netflix, HBO MAX, Hulu and so on. One of the major takeaways includes the ability for a company to agree for writers to use AI in their process if conditions are met, but they still cannot require a writer to use AI tools. 

The approval of this agreement will see the return of many shows, with late-night talk shows amongst the first to resume.  However, the strike really doesn’t end here as the labor union of Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists is still on strike. 

This strike will continue to delay the return and production of many television shows and traditional forms of media, but the organization hopes to use this deal as guidance and leverage for similar increases, guidelines and opportunities for actors. 

We have been closely monitoring the Writer’s Strike, AI and its potential implications for marketing since the beginning. You can read more of our thoughts in our previous LinkedIn post

But, while we await the impact of the agreement and its AI restrictions to delve into its implications, here are four major areas in which we believe we will (and already are) see the ramifications of this historic strike: 

The content developed, created, or produced by AI will need to be disclosed or will be automatically disclosed. Similar to all paid content needing to be disclosed for advertising purposes, we already see disclosures around AI content. We believe this will continue and may even be heightened. A win means they won’t compete with computers for screen credits.

A possible opt-in and opt-out options for content to be used in algorithmic learning by AI. A major concern of the Writers Guild of America was that they didn’t want their content to be fed to algorithms for learning options, and there will definitely be regulations surrounding this coming down the line for social media content!

An increased regulation surrounds AI algorithms’ capabilities and integrations in social media platforms. With so many platforms integrating their own AI tools, it will be hard to separate a completely non-AI-assisted platform. These tools are great for ideation but cannot be the sole source of your content creation or content strategy, which was also a major sticking point for negotiations.

In conjunction with the above point, social media steps in to fill the “reality TV” void. With phones in nearly everyone’s hands, everyone has the possibility of becoming a reality star, which can compensate for our beloved scripted shows. People have moved from TVs to phones to consume “original” and “authentic” content, giving these companies another thing to worry about.


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