Photo: Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock for SAG-AFTRA

Welcome to Vulture’s Strike Recap, or Strike-cap, if you will, a regular rundown of all the biggest news from the WGA and SAG picket lines.

Last Wednesday, August 9, was Day 100 of the 2023 writers’ strike. As WGA board member Deric A. Hughes pointed out, the last strike in 2007–8 ended on Day 100. A big point of contention in that strike was streaming residuals, much like AI is in this one. “And what happened? The day after the strike ended, Hulu launched,” he said on Day 1 of the SAG strike. People are sharing their feelings, both serious and joking, about yet again finding oneself in historic times.

There has been some movement on the strike-ending front. After last week’s meeting to talk about meeting to talk, the AMPTP and WGA actually met and talked on Friday, August 11. “We will evaluate their offer and, after deliberation, go back to them with the WGA’s response next week,” the WGA told members in an email that day. In the meantime, we’ve got a contrite star of Heels on the picket line, a real wrestler trying to turn face, and the return of Li’l Sebastian — from the grave and to the front lines of the strike.

You know, after his anti-picket comments seemingly spurred Arrow cast members to reunite? Amell looked contrite on the line and issued a statement explaining that he supports his union. Someone explained to him that striking is a negotiation tactic and not a breakdown in negotiations.

CM Punk is a character played by actor Phil Brooks, known for his work on Heels and Mayans M.C. On August 13, Brooks wore his “SAG-AFTRA on Strike!” shirt for his live appearance on AEW’s Collision as the wrestler CM Punk. This is weird for a litany of reasons: One, CM Punk’s first promo upon his return to AEW’s ring was all about how David Zaslav is his friend who calls him “One Bil Phil” (as in, he generates a lot of money), and Collision itself is a show Zaslav asked AEW to add to its schedule ahead of the strikes, potentially because wrestling is, quite famously, a very non-union enterprise. This brings us to reason two that it’s weird: Highlighting that you are in a union that is on strike while continuing to work as the star of a major company with workers who don’t enjoy the same union protections is certainly a choice. And finally, CM Punk is kind of a heel now, and he gets booed at every show that isn’t in his hometown of Chicago. Sometimes he plays into being a villain (see: friends with David Zaslav) and other times he doesn’t, so it’s very hard to know if wearing the shirt was a troll or an attempt to genuinely show support.

Another week, another big cast reunion on the picket line. This time, it was a good chunk of Parks and Recreation. Missing from the pics were Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, and Aziz Ansari. Pratt posted pics from the reunion and captioned them in solidarity. Ansari’s movie Good Fortune was shut down by a WGA picket in May.

The WGA may have been striking for 100-plus days, but the Buena Park Medieval Times has been on strike for six months. The workers at Medieval Times aren’t just striking for themselves; they’re concerned with how the company treats their horses. Horses also showed up at the SAG-AFTRA strike this week. And Li’l Sebastian, as previously discussed, was back from the dead to show up for his human pals. Huzzah for cross-species solidarity. Huzzah!

Netflix is refusing to meet with the Korea Broadcasting Actors Union, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. Netflix says it’s “following all local laws and regulations” because it’s “a streaming service — and not a broadcaster.” Other streamers, however, have met with the union. One of the talking points surrounding this strike was the notion that Netflix would fare better because it has an international library from which to pull. But now it looks like that international library may have labor issues of its own to address.

Jeopardy! is continuing to film despite its writers being on strike. Players from past seasons are being asked to return, and the show will use answers banked by WGA writers pre-strike as well as ones from past seasons. Polygon reported on the players who are now facing “an impossible decision” about whether or not to return to the show and cross a picket line. James Holzhauer also tweeted his frustration with the upcoming season.

Mad Men quotes! Those meme boots! And a DJ for Day 100!

Do you have a story tip or interesting writers’ strike update to share? Drop us a line at tips@vulture.com.

A previous version of this article cited CBS News’s report that the current strike is the longest in WGA history. The longest WGA strike to date remains the 1988 strike, which lasted 153 days.


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The WGA Strike Passes Day 100