Kim Kardashian was condemned for crossing a picket line of striking Writers Guild of America (WGA) writers to film American Horror Story season 12. In May 2023, after negotiations fell through with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the WGA went on to strike and shared a list of proposals. Many demands involve fairer pay and compensation and changes around the so-called mini-writers’ room.
Kardashian, who has joined the American Horror Story season 12 cast, has been criticized by playwright, former Law & Order: SVU showrunner, and WGA strike captain Warren Leight for crossing the WGA picket lines in Manhattan so that she could film the horror series. In a series of tweets, Leight acknowledged that many actors are in a difficult position regarding the strike and must cross picket lines until June 30, when the contracts for the actors’ guild (SAG-AFTRA) expire. Leight noted, however, that Kardashian “has more leverage than others in her position. She didn’t use it.” His tweets are below:
Why Is The WGA On Strike?
The WGA shared a list of their proposals following the negotiations breakdown with the AMPTP. The WGA is asking for a better system that ensures more stability for writers and fairer compensation. As it stands now, under the current deal, not only have some writers’ said that they struggle to make a living wage, given the increase in the cost of living, but they’ve also struggled to find more opportunities to advance.
The current streaming model, which typically runs for six to 10 episodes, usually all written by one writer or a few writers, doesn’t facilitate writers to ultimately evolve into showrunners and producers. New writers have said they’ve never worked on a set where most skills are learned. The subject of pay and fairness also relates to viewership-based residuals and more transparency with regard to viewership. The WGA proposed a system that would reward shows with higher viewership.
Since streaming services have been unwilling to provide viewership numbers, even to the stars and creators of shows and movies, the WGA said this proposal was rejected. American Horror Story has benefited from veteran writers like its creator Ryan Murphy, and the WGA is fighting for the viability of a next-generation of writers that are paid well, informed about their work, and with opportunities to advance. There is a reasonable argument that a global celebrity like Kardashian can and should help bring attention to the WGA’s worthwhile goals, particularly as she’s moving into the arena of scripted genre shows.
Source: Warren Leight/Twitter