The Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) has been on strike since Tuesday 2 May, with thousands of screenwriters downing pens until a deal for fair pay and other requirements is agreed upon with Hollywood production studios.
As a result, several programmes including US late-night shows, sitcoms (Abbott Elementary) and animations (Big Mouth) have shut down production until the strike ends.
Also affected by strike action is the Game of Thrones spin-off, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight.
Screenwriter and author of the Game of Thrones books George RR Martin shared a message in support of the protests on his personal website on Sunday (7 May).
“I am not in LA, so I cannot walk a picket line as I did in 1988, but I want to go on the record with my full and complete and unequivocal support of my Guild,” he wrote.
Martin went on to state that he has been through several instances of strikes since he began writing for television in the late Eighties but has “never seen the Guild so united as it is now”.
As it is specifically writers who are on strike, not all productions have shut down, as they can continue to film if they have scripts available.
Martin continues: “The proviso being, of course, that those scripts must be shot EXACTLY as they were as of midnight on May 1. Not a word can be changed, cut, added, not a scene can be altered. All that requires writing… and from now until the strike ends, the writers will be on picket lines, not on sets.
“The writer’s room on A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight has closed for the duration,” Martin continued, adding: “[Showrunner] Ira Parker and his incredible staff of young talents are on the picket lines.”
As for the second season of House of the Dragon, filming will continue as the scripts had been completely finalised, with no further revisions to be made, “months ago, long before the strike began”.
“The writers have done their jobs; the rest is in the hands of the directors, cast and crew… and of course the dragons,” Martin wrote.