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The Writers’ Strike, or: the Writers Strike

On the WGA versus the studios and streamers

On May 2, 2023, the Writers Guild of America called a strike. While this may seem far afield from an august magazine that specializes in literary nonfictionthe WGA’s demands are in-line with the mission of Harper’s: to uphold the rights and unique voices of writers. As the balance of power in Hollywood has shifted away from traditional studios and toward streaming companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Apple, their plan for “disrupting the industry” is almost identical to what tech companies did to journalism in the aughts. Tom Bissell, a member of the WGA and a contributing editor to Harper’s, discusses the finer points of the strike, the mood on the picket line, and the false menace of A.I.

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July 2016

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