Editorial | Our top three favorite signs from the Hollywood writers’ strike


AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Striking members and supporters of the Writers Guild of America walk the picket line during a rally outside Silvercup Studios, Tuesday May 9, 2023, in New York.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA), representing over eleven thousand writers, went on strike in the beginning of May after studio management failed to meet their demands. Demands from the WGA are nothing new — every three years, the labor union negotiates a new Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) for its writers. When studios fail to come to a sufficient agreement, as they did only 15 years ago in 2007, it may result in a writers’ strike like the one we’re seeing this summer.

Just as we did with the journalists at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pitt News stands with the WGA strikers in their efforts to achieve an agreement beneficial to the union.

A strike does not mean a break for the writers. While they refuse to give their creative efforts to the TV shows and movies that can’t thrive without them, they have refocused their gifts of writing into their picket signs. Here are three of the Pitt News’ favorite messages from the WGA strike.


It began as a picket sign, but after receiving $2500 donations, writer Jacob Reed paid for a sky banner to fly the message over LA Studios.

Given the recent development and popularity of Chat-GPT and other AI-based chatbots, the WGA included a demand that would regulate the use of artificial intelligence on MBA-covered projects. They demanded that AI not be used to write literary material, nor can MBA projects be used to train any AI. The studios shot this down.

“It’s one writer, Michael. What could it cost? Ten dollars?”

Lucille Bluth’s quote, “It’s one banana, Michael. What could it cost? Ten dollars?” does a great job poking fun at how divorced from reality rich people can be. What better time to parody the quote than to support writers who bring us amazing TV shows like Arrested Development? After all, the WGA placed it number 16 on their list of 101 Best Written TV Series.

Even at such an insane price, $10 per banana would hardly put a dent in the net worths of Hollywood studio CEOs. These owners of their respective studios make far more than the writers who make our favorite shows and movies as good as they are, which leads us to our next picket sign.

“Someone who is good at the economy please help me budget this. My industry is dying”

Parodying another popular tweet, writer Merigan Mulhern shares exactly how high the salaries of top studio CEOs actually are — totalling 773 million dollars between the eight of them. Meanwhile, median weekly pay declined by 23% for writers and producers over the past decade.

The WGA report blames the shift to streaming as an excuse for executives to cut their writers’ pay. Since its conception, streaming — called “new media” at the time — has been a source of conflict for writers, as they often receive worse compensation from the shift in media consumption. 

Like the sign says, the industry will die without the talented writers on strike this month. The TV and movies we all know and love are thanks to them, and they deserve adequate compensation for it.