HONOLULU (KHON2) — Local writers rallied Monday in Waikiki as part of the ongoing writers’ strike nationwide. Tens of thousands of television and film writers from the Writers Guild of America have been on strike since May 2.
Writers are fighting for better pay and residuals from streaming services.
Check out more news from around Hawaii
Screenwriters are asking big companies like Apple, that provide streaming services, for better wages.
“The writers what they’re asking for their 11,500 members for one year spread out across all of those people is $17 million in increases in liveable working wages,” said Aaron Kandell, professional screenwriter and producer.
Kandell, Hawaii-born and raised screenwriter best known for Disney’s animated “Moana” film, is taking a stand alongside other local-based writers.
KHON2.com is told the strike may take a hit on some local productions.
“For NCIS Hawaii, we’re supposed to start filming this month, but that can be impacted if the companies don’t come back to the table and make a deal with us,” said Matt Bosack, “NCIS: Hawaii” co-creator and co-showrunner.
FOX’s “Rescue: HI-Surf” was greenlit five days before the writer’s strike started.
“As the strike goes on, there’s possibility we impact beginning day of our writer’s room and there’s a possibility we impact the beginning date of our production calendar,” said Matt Kester, “Rescue: HI-Surf” executive producer.
With the local film industry being a big money driver for the state, some lawmakers said any pause on productions could cause some impacts.
According to the state, the film industry brought in $480 million in 2022, a new record.
“The film industry is hugely beneficial in Hawaii,” said Rep. Natalia Hussey-Burdick, (D) House Committee on Economic Development. “Not only is it the hundreds of millions of dollars that they bring in annual revenue, it’s the local jobs that they provide for people all up and down the production line. It’s their best to support local businesses, they do their best to support local restaurants.”
This comes as the state is looking to attract more production to the islands.
“We do have a film industry tax credit and every year we try to go back to the legislature and make it a little more attractive for films to film here,” said Rep. Hussey-Burdick. “Because we did lose a couple of productions to similar places like New Zealand that have better tax credits for their film industry.”
“We want to get to work, we want to get to work with our Hawaii crews and make these great TV shows,” said Kester.
Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You
KHON2.com reached out to Apple and is waiting for a response.