Hollywood writers’ strike halts production of “Stranger Things”

Fans of Stranger Things might have to wait longer for the new and final season of one of the most popular Netflix shows. Production has been put on hold due to the ongoing Hollywood writers’ strike.

The writing team for the Emmy award-winning sci-fi supernatural show, which is about to enter its fifth and final season, runs a Twitter account where the Duffer brothers – the creators and executive producers of the show – shared an update with fans.

The message by Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer said that it wasn’t possible to start production during the strike, which the show’s writers have joined.

Filming on the final season of Stranger Things had initially been expected to get underway this summer. But the Duffers explained that writing doesn’t actually stop when filming begins so delays seem inevitable now.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) called its first work stoppage in 15 years last week after failing to reach an agreement for higher pay from studios such as Disney and Netflix. The writers want higher pay, guarantees for staff, and limits on the use of artificial intelligence.

WGA negotiators have spent the last six weeks negotiating with Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Discovery-Warner, NBC Universal, Paramount, and Sony, companies under the umbrella of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). They were unable to reach an agreement.

"Although we negotiated with the intent of making a fair deal – and though your strike vote gave us the leverage to make some gains – the studios’ responses to our proposals have been wholly insufficient, given the existential crisis writers are facing,” WGA said.

“The companies' behavior has created a gig economy inside a union workforce, and their immovable stance in this negotiation has betrayed a commitment to further devaluing the profession of writing.”

Stranger Things is among several projects that have been affected by the strike. Marvel Studios’ Blade, Apple TV’s Loot, NBC’s Saturday Night Live, CBS’ The Talk, and various late-night talk shows have also been impacted, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

George R.R. Martin confirmed that the writers’ room has shut down for the recently announced Game of Thrones spin-off series A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight.

Some other hit shows are alive. Amazon’s Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and HBO’s House of the Dragon have continued filming after stockpiling scripts ahead of the strike.

However, rewrites and other adjustments will still need to be dealt with, and if the strike continues, no writers could be present on set. As a result, films and shows currently shooting could see a noticeable drop in quality.

Besides, staff members and stars have expressed solidarity with the writers in some cases. Late-night talk show hosts Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers have pledged to pay their writing staff out of their own pockets during the strike.

The WGA's British and Canadian counterparts have issued statements in solidarity while reminding their members of strike rules, as did the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which represents actors.