Andor showrunner Tony Gilroy has announced that he will cease non-writing duties on the second season of the series, which is currently in production. The announcement comes per The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news via a statement from Gilroy on Tuesday.
“I discontinued all writing and writing-related work on Andor prior to midnight, May 1.” Gilroy writes, referencing the WGA’s initial vote to strike. “After being briefed on the Saturday showrunner meeting, I informed Chris Keyser at the WGA on Sunday morning that I would also be ceasing all non-writing producing functions.”
Gilroy’s statement is the latest in a series of major shake ups that have occurred since the beginning of the WGA strike on May 1. A Variety report published on Friday, May 5, reported that the show’s second season, in addition to Prime Video’s Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and Max’s House of the Dragon, would resume production in the midst of the strike. This news drew intense criticisms both from fellow WGA members and those online, including WGA member Abdullah Saeed, who singled out Gilroy in an instagram post published on May 8.
On May 5, The Hollywood Reporter reported that several studios, including Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery, had sent letters to showrunners demanding them to continue their contractually obligated non-writing services amid the strike. “Your personal services agreement with [the] Studio requires that you perform your showrunner and/or producing duties even if the WGA attempts to fine you for performing such services during the strike,” wrote Bob McPhail, the assistant chief counsel for the Disney-owned ABC Signature on May 3. “Your duties as a showrunner and/or producer are not excused, suspended or terminated until and unless you are so notified in writing by the Studio.”
In a statement released to the Hollywood Reporter, the WGA accused these letters of acting as a thinly-veiled union-busting tactic, arguing that the duties cited in the memo, which include “bridging material necessitated by cutting for time” and “changes necessary to obtain continuity acceptance or legal clearance” are “specifically defined in the Guild contract as writing services” and that they are “struck work that Guild members are prohibited from doing during a work stoppage.”
The Writers' Guild of America (WGA) is currently on strike, citing demands to secure a higher pay floor, pay standardization and residuals for entertainment released on streaming or in theaters, as well as to “address the abuses of mini-rooms,” which are basically smaller writers rooms that offer less stability and involvement for writers, among other demands.
The second season of Andor is expected to release in August 2024, though there’s no word if the strike or Gilroy’s absence from production will delay the series.