Support for LAist comes from
Made of L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

How To LA

Writers Have Called For Strikes 6 Times Since 1960. Here’s Why. (And More Headlines)

A woman with light-tone skin and straight black hair is wearing a blue T-shirt that reads "Writers Guild of America" while holding a sign, raising both arms and shouting with her mouth wide open. The words on the sign read "Writers Guild of America on Strike!" and behind her are more people picketing with the same sign.
Writers Guild of America members and supporters picket in front of Warner Bros. Studio on the first day of the writers strike Tuesday in Burbank.
(Brian Feinzimer
for LAist)
Our June member drive is live: protect this resource!
Right now, we need your help during our short June member drive to keep the local news you read here every day going. This has been a challenging year, but with your help, we can get one step closer to closing our budget gap. Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership.

Remember back in the “good ol’ days” before our phones became smarter than us and we watched TV on a big, chunky TV screen in the family room?

A brief history of writers' strikes

About How to LA Newsletter
  • This is the web version of our How To LA newsletter. Sign up here to get this newsletter sent to your inbox each weekday morning

If you’re a millennial like me, I bet you remember sneaking around your parents to watch late night Showtime and HBO, which changed the viewing game with their 24-hour pay TV schedules.

Support for LAist comes from

Then, there were Friday night trips to Blockbuster to get video cassettes (and then DVDs) of the latest movies to go along with our popcorn and Raisinets. Once the internet became a huge part of our culture in the early 2000s, there was no stopping the expansion of new media.

So why am I mentioning all of this?

All of these technological advances and shifts in the way we consume entertainment have had a direct correlation on why the Writers Guild of America has called for strikes over the last several decades. There’ve been six of them since the 1960s. My colleague John Horn explains this history in his latest piece for LAist.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

Today, as you likely now know, the tech at the center of this rift between writers and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers is streaming. But there’s also tension with the emerging advancements of artificial intelligence. Writers say the advent of streaming has contributed to wage reductions and that AI risks cutting them out of a project altogether.

The AMPTP responded Thursday to writers’ concerns, and pushed back on several points including the argument that recent technological changes have turned writers’ jobs into “gig” work. And it had this to say about AI: it “raises hard, important creative and legal questions for everybody.”

The AMPTP said it is committed to having more discussions about AI. But we will just all have to stay tuned to see where this negotiation goes.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

More News

(After you stop hitting snooze)

  • Artist duo Sze Tsung Nicolás Leong and Judy Chui-Hua Chung won the competition to create L.A.’s memorial to victims of the 1871 Chinese Massacre. My colleague Josie Huang has more details on this design and how the piece will connect with Asian American history. 
  • California legislators have tasked the University of California system with enrolling more in-state students. But over the past six years progress has been slow. My colleague Adolfo Guzman-Lopez explains why.
  • How much will the Writers Guild of America strike impact the economy? We can look back at the massive hit our economy took, even outside of the entertainment industry, during the last writers strike 15 years ago to see what could happen. 
  • For the first time, biologists have captured and collared a black bear in the Santa Monica Mountains. Meet young BB-12. Black bears like him aren’t native to SoCal, so how did he get here? 
  • Brace yourself, my friend because with the warmer sea temperatures, El Niño is on the way. NPR’s Bill Chappell has more on what’s next for us. 
  • Yesterday was a special day for Star Wars fans, and not just because of the date. Carrie Fisher,  best known as Princess Leia in the franchise, was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 
  • Dealers are still selling Hyundais and Kias even though car buyers are getting refused insurance coverage due to car theft. Read NPR’s Joe Hernandez story about why this is happening. 
  • Looking for some weekend fun? You could watch Star Wars: New Hope at the Neiman & Company in Van Nuys. Or get brainy with a live-in-person taping of Go Fact Yourself LIVE with Reggie Watts and Lisa Loeb at LAist’s Crawford Family Forum. Or jam out at the Desert Hearts Festival at The Torch at L.A. Memorial Coliseum. Check out our weekend list for these events and so many more.
Support for LAist comes from
  • *At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

Wait! One More Thing

A South L.A. Neighborhood Has A New Library. But Its Opening Is Bittersweet

A smiling woman holds up giant scissors following a ribbon cutting ceremony in front of a brick building. Around her, children and adults cheer.
Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell at the opening ceremony
(Julia Barajas

If you head down Compton Avenue in the Florence-Firestone neighborhood right now, you might see people walking to and from a new library — finally!

Believe it or not, the construction of a new permanent library has been a waiting game for residents of the South L.A. community after the original library was torn down in 2019 to make way for affordable housing. There was hope it would be built as part of the new complex but plans changed, despite residents' push for it.

My colleague Julia Barajas spoke with Angelenos who grew up in the area about their fight to keep the library in its original location, and their thoughts on the new permanent library now. Feelings are mixed. The new library is now in a permanent place, which is appreciated, but its two-thirds the size of what the city council had promised residents and it’s nearly a mile away from the previous one.

Read more about it here.

Help Us Cover Your Community
  • Got something you’ve always wanted to know about Southern California and the people who call it home? Is there an issue you want us to cover? Ask us anything.

  • Have a tip about news on which we should dig deeper? Let us know.