As Writer’s Strike Continues, Hollywood Rejects AI Use in Scripts

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Writers Guild of America East supporters walk a picket line at the Disney Upfront event at the Javits Center on May 16, 2023. MICHAEL M. SANTIAGO/GETTY IMAGES

Award-Winning Hollywood Writer David Simon Expresses Concerns over Artificial Intelligence Impact on Creative Process

HOLLYWOOD – Renowned television writer David Simon (The Wire, Homicide: Life on the Street), has made his stance clear on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in Hollywood and writers’ rooms. In a recent interview on NPR’s Consider This podcast, Simon expressed his strong opposition to incorporating AI in the creative process of scriptwriting.

“I’d rather put a gun in my mouth,” Simon candidly stated when asked about using AI to write scenes for scripts. He firmly believes that AI cannot come close to matching the fundamental creativity that writers bring to their craft.

The use of AI has become a central topic in the film and TV industry, particularly during the contract negotiations between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). Concerned writers are advocating for regulations to control the use of AI.

David Simon DIA DIPASUPIL/GETTY IMAGES
David Simon DIA DIPASUPIL/GETTY IMAGES

The friction between the WGA and AMPTP, exacerbated by the issue of AI usage, led to negotiations faltering and writers initiating a strike. The guild’s proposals were rejected by the AMPTP, who instead offered annual meetings to discuss technological advancements.

Simon, also a member of the WGA’s negotiation committee, highlighted his concerns about the integrity of writers and copyright. He emphasized that when he sold his scripts to networks like HBO and NBC, it was not with the intention of having them recycled through AI algorithms.

Expressing his firm stance, Simon stated that he would not accept any contract that involves AI in the writing process. He believes that embracing AI in the industry would result in its own regression and a lack of originality. According to him, relying on AI would lead to a repetition of content, albeit of poorer quality.

Writers Guild members strike outside of Netflix on May 18, 2023. KATHERINE KILKENNY FOR THR
Writers Guild members strike outside of Netflix on May 18, 2023. KATHERINE KILKENNY FOR THR

While Simon recognizes the potential benefits of writers experimenting with AI as a tool, he strongly opposes the idea of AI taking the lead in storytelling. He firmly stated that he did not enter the field of storytelling for studios to dictate stories generated by AI.

In conclusion, David Simon’s rejection of AI in Hollywood has further fueled the ongoing strike by writers against its integration into scriptwriting. With his reputation and influence in the industry, Simon’s voice adds weight to the concerns raised by writers about the impact of AI on their creative process. – The Hollywood Reporter