From coast to coast, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) is on strike for the first time in 15 years.

After negotiations faltered with studio representatives, the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP), and the union’s contract expired at midnight on May 2, the strike commenced, sending 11,500 television and film writers to the picket lines, including one in Greenpoint. 

Dozens gathered with signs on Thursday morning in front of the Seret Studios soundstage on West Street, chanting classic protest refrains like “What’s disgusting? Union busting!” and “If we don’t get it, shut it down!” Assemblymember Emily Gallagher lent her support on the picket line. 

Some picketers moved down the street to Cine Magic East River Studios, after catching wind of production trucks rolling in. Picketing in front of nearby Broadway Stages is expected within the coming days.

“We’re out here striking for just a sustainable, fair wage that lets writers have careers and doesn’t turn television and film writing into a gig economy type job with no stability,” writer and comedian Josh Gondelman told Greenpointers at the strike. “We’re out here because at the expiration of our contract, the AMPTP offered a contract that didn’t just ensure those protections for the future, but tried to roll them back, protections that writers before us have fought for decades…and writers after us will need too, so we’re out here until we get a fair deal, and we’re out here in Greenpoint because there’s production here, and we’re encouraging other unions not to cross our picket line.”


Studios and productions have long filmed in Greenpoint. Currently, The Equalizer, FBI: Most Wanted, Billions, and Blue Bloods have a home base here. 

Chief among the WGA’s concerns is the fact that compensation has not risen to reflect the reality of television in the age of the streaming service. 

The WGA strike of 2007-2008 lasted over 100 days and cost the economy an estimated $2.1 billion. The 2023 strike has only just begun, so stay tuned here to see how it will impact Greenpoint.

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