May 3, 2023 MDG

Entertainment Manufacturing: Navigating the Crossroads of Creativity and Compensation

When we speak of America as a manufacturing nation, it’s not just about the steel, cars, or technology we produce. It’s also about our exceptional ability to manufacture world-class entertainment.

In 2007, the writers’ strike resulted in a shift, filling the void with reality TV, a pale Xerox of our high-quality scripted content. This downgrade came at a cost, both in terms of cultural value and industry standards. However, we’re now seeing a recovery, thanks to massive investments in quality streaming content.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers plays a critical role in this landscape. Their negotiations and deal points will shape the future of our entertainment industry, and they deserve our full support. <—

Consider the dynamics between the traditional broadcast TV model and the evolving streaming model. In the former, writers typically produce 22 scripts per season, with royalties based on performance. Streaming series, often less than 10 episodes, offer less upside for writers.

This discrepancy is just one of the many nuanced deal points that need to be addressed moving forward.

Another crucial issue is the role of AI and generative content. Given the potential impact on the industry, it’s no surprise that this has become a significant sticking point. We need to learn from the protracted conflict of 2007, a dance of a thousand cuts that left studios, writers, and viewers all suffering.
If the current negotiations drag on, we could be faced with a rise in creator TV or other lower-quality substitutes for well-produced and written narratives, causing pain points across all stakeholders.

Today, Hollywood stands at the crossroads of Digital Pennies Drive and High Production Costs Avenue. It is a tough neighborhood. Streaming services are vying to lock-in audiences and market share, all while grappling with escalating costs. As we navigate this intersection, it’s crucial that we strike a balance that maintains the quality of American entertainment while ensuring fair compensation for its creators.