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Top Netflix show shuts down amid Hollywood writers' strike

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 8 May 2023, 12:46PM
Stranger Things fans will have to wait even longer for the highly-anticipated final season. Photo / Netflix
Stranger Things fans will have to wait even longer for the highly-anticipated final season. Photo / Netflix

Top Netflix show shuts down amid Hollywood writers' strike

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 8 May 2023, 12:46PM

Fans of Netflix’s Stranger Things will have to wait even longer for the highly-anticipated final season due to the ongoing Hollywood writers’ strike.

People reports that the show’s creators The Duffer Brothers announced the pause in production over the weekend.

Matt and Ross Duffer wrote on the official Stranger Things Twitter account, “Writing does not stop when filming begins. While we’re excited to start production with our amazing cast and crew, it is not possible during this strike. We hope a fair deal is reached soon so we can all get back to work. Until then — over and out. #wgastrong.”

The hit show, starring Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Sadie Sink and Noah Schnapp, first appeared on Netflix in 2016 and became the streamer’s most-watched series.

The Duffer Brothers announced in February 2022 that the show would conclude with season 5.

“Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things. At the time, we predicted the story would last four to five seasons,” they wrote at the time. “It proved too large to tell in four, but — as you’ll soon see for yourselves — we are now hurling toward our finale.”

Countless screenwriters are on strike after weeks of negotiations for a new contract for film and scripted television ended in a stalemate. The previous contract between the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) expired at midnight on May 2.

David Harbour as Chief Jim Hopper in the first season of Stranger Things. Photo / NetflixDavid Harbour as Chief Jim Hopper in the first season of Stranger Things. Photo / Netflix

Writers are seeking higher pay and better protections. Deadline reported that both the AMPTP and the WGA agree that as writers are bringing in less money, solutions are needed - but they can’t agree on what those solutions should be.

The guild said, “WGA proposals would gain writers approximately $429 million per year; AMPTP’s offer is approximately $86 million per year, 48% of which is from the minimums increase.

The last time a strike of this scale took place in November 2007, lasting 100 days until February 12, 2008, it caused the industry to lose billions of dollars in all sectors, from catering to costumes and hair and makeup.

The impacts of the current strike are already being felt. Several daily late-night shows, including The Late Show with Stephen ColbertThe Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonJimmy Kimmel Live!, and The Daily Show shut down instantly.

Daytime talk shows such as The View are pressing on, while acknowledging their formats will change without writers. Saturday Night Live has finished its current season early, after it was initially set to return on May 6 with an episode hosted by Pete Davidson featuring Lil Uzi as a musical guest. Others lined up to host include Kieran Culkin and Jennifer Coolidge.

And the 2023 MTV Movie & TV Awards ceremony will no longer be live, instead promising a “memorable night full of exclusive sneak peeks, irreverent categories our audience has come to expect, and countless moments that will both surprise and delight as we honor the best of film and TV over the past year”.

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