Chris Keyser, a chair of the W.G.A. negotiating committee, said in an interview early Tuesday morning that “philosophically, and practically, we’re very far apart.”
Over the last decade, a period that is often referred to as Peak TV, the number of scripted television shows broadcast in the United States has risen sharply. Writers, however, said that their pay has stagnated.
In the network television era, a writer could get work on a show with more than 20 episodes a season, providing a steady living for an entire year. However, in the streaming era, episode orders have declined to 8 or 12, and the median weekly pay for a writer-producer has gone down slightly, the W.G.A. said.
“They’re making it impossible for younger writers to make a living,” Mr. Kushner, the playwright and screenwriter, said. “Our wages have declined since the last strike.”
The writers want to also fix the formula for residual payments, which have been upended by streaming. Years ago, writers could receive residual payments whenever a show was licensed — into syndication or through DVD sales. But global streaming services like Netflix and Amazon have cut off those distribution arms and pay a fixed residual instead.
For now, the writers’ creative energy will be solely dedicated to their picket signs. Outside the NBCUniversal event, one writer held up a sign that read, “Pay your writers or we’ll spoil ‘Succession.’”
Brooks Barnes contributed reporting.