More than 70 percent of Americans—including a clear majority of Trump supporters—support the Writers Guild of America’s ongoing strike for better pay, working conditions, and job security, according to a new poll commissioned by More Perfect Union via Blue Rose Research.
The two-way poll found overwhelming support for the strike that cuts across racial, age, gender, and even political lines—even 63 percent of Trump voters with an opinion on the strike back the writers’ effort, while just 37 of those same Trump voters back the studios, represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
Overall, 71 percent of Americans with an opinion backed the writers in their dispute with AMPTP. The survey indicated that the dispute has high visibility with the public, with more than 80 percent of Americans polled saying they had an opinion on the ongoing strike.
The national poll of 3,000 likely voters was conducted between May 12 and May 15. Respondents were given a summary of arguments from both sides; arguments for supporting the striking writers included that “pay has dropped 23 percent over the last decade despite record profits,” and that the growing use of streaming has resulted in staffing cuts, while respondents heard the studios’ take that the writers “rejected a generous proposal that included the largest first year pay increase” in a quarter of a century.
The strike began on May 2 after studios refused to meet writers’ demands on a host of issues including residuals from streaming and a ban on using AI to write scripts—refusing to even produce counter offers to a number of requests from the Writers Guild, according to the union.
Nearly 20,000 writers across the industry have been on strike ever since, shutting down production on nearly every late night talk show, Saturday Night Live, and a number of scripted shows including Abbott Elementary, Severance, and Yellowjackets.
Polling taken during the last writers’ strike, which lasted for 100 days in the fall and winter of 2007 and 2008, found similarly high levels of support for writers. In December 2007, six weeks into the strike, 60 percent of Americans supported the writers while just 14 percent backed the studios, according to a Gallup/USA Today poll taken at the time.
The new poll also found high levels of public support for the high-profile Starbucks unionization drive as the coffee giant continues its campaign against the union, which has spurred allegations of union-busting, retaliation against union leaders, and bad-faith bargaining. In the 18 months since the first union victory in Buffalo, more than 300 Starbucks stores in over three dozen states have voted to unionize.
Sixty-six percent of respondents with an opinion on the fight between Starbucks and its workers back the union, while just a third of likely voters who responded support the company. Like the writers’ strike, support for the union cuts across demographics—despite frequent mockery of Starbucks workers and criticism of the union from conservative politicians and media, 57 percent of Trump supporters who have an opinion on the dispute back the union.
Full polling question:
Recently, TV and film writers went on strike across the country.
The Writers Guild of America says that you should support the strike: they’re on strike because their pay has dropped 23% over the last decade despite record profits in the industry. They say the rise in streaming platforms has resulted in cuts to staffing levels and lowered the wages paid to writers when their shows are re-aired.
The Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers say that you should oppose the strike: the writers rejected a generous proposal that included the largest first year pay increase in 25 years. They argue that the continued strike is only hurting writers, who will continue to go unpaid while union reps turn down fair proposals, and the fans who watch their shows.
Which position do you agree with more?
Agree a lot more with the Writers Guild of America
Agree a bit more with the Writers Guild of America
Agree a bit more with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers
Agree a lot more with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers