Snoop Dogg has spoken out about the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, saying music artists should do something similar.
Writers are on strike and demanding fairer pay in the streaming age. At a panel earlier this week, Snoop Dogg couldn’t help but offer his opinion: “Writers are on strike over streaming; They can’t be paid,” says Snoop. “Because when it’s on the platform, it’s not like the box office.” Snoop notes that streaming is a highly profitable endeavor, but those profits don’t seem to end up in the artists’ pockets.
“I don’t understand how the hell you get paid with that shit,” Snoop continues, discuss artists with millions of streams. “Can someone tell me how to get a billion streams and not a million dollars? That’s the main criticism of a lot of us artists because we do big numbers that don’t add up to the money. Where the hell is the money?”
It’s unclear how long the WGA strike will last, as it officially begins on May 2. 11,500 WGA members voted to strike Tuesday after negotiations with the studios collapsed. Authors consistently want higher compensation. “Ten years ago, 33% of TV writers were paid minimum wage. According to the WGA, it is now 49%. Adjusted for inflation, author salaries have fallen by 14% over the past five years. “The average weekly salary for a writer and producer has dropped 23% over the last decade.” reports The Associated Press.
For many writers working on TV shows, streaming has also turned the residuals upside down. Authors were generously compensated when shows got into syndication or were sold into new territories. But now, series and movies are coming to streaming services and staying there — with no backlog for writers. Streaming services also don’t share analytics data with writers and filmmakers, meaning they don’t know how valuable their work has been to the streaming services. To compensate for the loss of these balances, the WGA requires higher upfront fees.
The WGA is also asking Hollywood studios for assurances against AI. She wants production companies to agree to a set of safeguards regarding the use of the product to protect writers’ jobs.