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San Diego comic, writer to join Writers Guild strike in Hollywood

San Diego comic, writer to join Hollywood strike
Posted at 4:41 PM, May 02, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A San Diego member of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) says he'll be on the picket line as the first Hollywood strike in 15 years began Tuesday.

“I’m actually quite hopeful, sounds strange,” said Rick Najera, Hollywood writer and comic.

Najera, a San Diego native, has been a member of the union for more than 30 years and lives part-time in San Diego.

He's written movie screenplays, and written for shows like 'In Living Color’ and 'Mad TV.’

He's been through three previous strikes. He voted for this one.

“This one, I feel will probably be the strongest, the toughest strike, because so is much at stake. What’s at stake is really the writers guild and making a livable wage,” said Najera.

The union is seeking higher pay and more exclusive contracts, among other demands—all conditions it says have been diminished in the content streaming boom.

“Studios are trying to change writers into a gig economy. The issues are fewer writers in the writing room, fewer contracts, fewer residuals,” said Najera.

After decades in the business, Najera is financially secure and can bring in income in other ways. He's an author and writes plays. But he will also be hurt by a strike.

“I have three new projects: two new films and a one-hour pilot. We are ready to go ahead and start selling. Now with the writers' strike, we can't do that,” said Najera.

Still, he believes the strike is needed. He'll be on the picket line later this week.

“We're fighting for people, years later… for creators to have a chance to profit from their creations,” said Najera.