‘Family Guy’ and ‘American Dad’ Showrunners Exit Amid WGA Strike!!

Seth MacFarlane along with the showrunners for American Dad and Family Guy have put down their pens until the Writers Guild of America reaches a new deal with the studios, Deadline has reported. The creator of the hit comedy series, along with Brian Boyle, Matt Weitzman, Rich Appel, and Alec Sulkin, have made it clear to 20th Television this week that none of them will work on their respective series as long as the union remains on strike.

MacFarlane and his Fuzzy Door Production entered a 5-year $200 million agreement with NBC Universal in 2020 shifting from a prior overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. It is unclear at the moment whether they too received a suspension letter like their high-profile peers and talent have in recent days. Last week like many showrunners Boyle, Weitzman, Appel, and Sulkin were sent individual letters from the giant demanding to show up for “non-writing duties.” However, WGA’s stance is that there is no non-writing element of being a showrunner.

MacFarlane has been on the picket line with fellow writers ever since AMPTP failed to even consider what the WGA was asking, and the strike started on May 2. The creator’s support on the picket line and his walking out of the series does not come as a surprise given he was a big advocate for the WGA holding strong during the strike of 2007-2008 as well. Earlier this year in January, Fox renewed Family Guy’s 22nd and 23rd seasons while in December 2021, American Dad was renewed for its 20th and 21st season. MacFarlane has already finished his work on Family Guy which recently concluded 21st season. As per the report, American Dad has about “3 months of scripts, v/o, etc already completed,” after which the studio will have to figure out the next steps.

Why Is the WGA On Strike?

The strike began earlier this month when WGA and AMPTP failed to reach an agreement about fair wages, residuals and use of AI among other things in the new contract. The union is fighting back against the studios attempts to turn writing into a gig economy which not only hinders budding writers but also do not serve the existing writers well. In its official statement the WGA said, “From their refusal to guarantee any level of weekly employment in episodic television, to the creation of a “day rate” in comedy variety, to their stonewalling on free work for screenwriters and on AI for all writers, they have closed the door on their labor force and opened the door to writing as an entirely freelance profession. No such deal could ever be contemplated by this membership.”

Writers are the sole reason we get entertainment at our fingertips. Despite the advent of streaming-created jobs, fair payments and accessibility to profits for writers have suffered a great deal in the last few years. It remains to be seen how long it takes for the studios to gather their wits and give writers get their due.

Watch this space for further developments.


via Collider

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