HomeCultureWhy Hollywood writers and actors are going on strike

Why Hollywood writers and actors are going on strike

Thursday (July 13) marked Hollywood’s historic shutdown as actors union members joined writers on strike demanding a fairer deal.

SAG-AFTRA (Association of Screen Actors – Federation of Television and Radio Artists of America) announced that the strike of 150,000 television and film actors will begin at midnight on Friday.

Follow here for real-time updates on the SAG-AFTRA strike.

Meanwhile, WGA (Writers Guild of America) members have been on strike since May.

This is the first time since 1960 that both actors and writers have chosen film and television production companies.

“It’s disgusting, it’s a shame for them,” said SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher of the offer they rejected from the Union of Film and Television Producers.

The writer’s strike has collapsed the entertainment industry, caused late-night talk shows to air, and made award shows virtual or unscripted.

With the added weight of tens of thousands of actors, Hollywood was literally in limbo until an agreement was reached with the production companies.

How will this affect the film industry?

“The studios really don’t care about us or treat us like human beings,” said Zack Arnold, Netflix co-editor. Grand cobra speak Independence. “The way to live as a creator, a storyteller, a filmmaker is on the right track.”

Oppenheimer actors walk out of UK premiere as Hollywood stars join writers’ strike

Arnold said the strike was caused by the “perfect storm” of streaming dominance, which led to the erosion of residual pay and the introduction of AI in the industry.

“Both are such paradigm shifts in the way business is done. I don’t think there’s a way to really solve both problems amicably without a real change in the way business is done,” he said.

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Joe Plummer, president of Wavelength (a New York-based independent studio behind Sundance players like Where is my Roy Cohn? And goodbye love).

In particular, in earlier TV productions, shows tended to have seasons with more episodes and popular series like Seinfeld went into distribution that could guarantee performers a steady stream of residual payouts for decades. Now even very popular shows on streamers like Netflix’s Bridgerton usually have seasons with less than ten episodes.

According to the association, top actors still make millions of dollars, but most SAG-AFTRA members are barely bought. Half of the members earn less than $26,000 a year from acting and barely qualify for the association’s health insurance, according to CBSNews.

Other key sticking points in union contract negotiations, which were renewed once this month before the strike, include the use of artificial intelligence.

The union claims that major studios offer to pay only one day for the right to use an AI-scanned version of an actor for life.

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, national executive director of the association, said: “Actors are now facing an existential threat to their livelihoods from the use of AI and production technology. Products. speak at a press conference on Thursday. “They proposed that our resume performers would be able to get scanned, get paid for in a day, and the company would be able to own that scan, that portrait, for the rest of their lives, for the rest of their lives. any project they want without consent and without compensation.”

(The studios have said that this is an inaccurate depiction of their location and that the AI ​​scan will only be used in a production for which an actor has been recruited.)

Some worry the use of AI will not only create digital background supplements but be used to revive dead performers or replace writers altogether.

“AI is clearly a potential existential threat to actors, depending on how it will be used,” said Andrew Susskind, associate professor of film and television at Drexel University. Talk to Washington Post. “Studios can say, ‘Ey, what’s the harm in making a new Cary Grant movie, who’s hurting?’ But maybe it’s damaging his reputation.”

Even without the threat of AI, other trends have tipped writers toward a strike.

Hollywood increasingly adopts the so-called “small room,” a short-term writer’s office, where staff members only work on the production for a short period of time, rather than an entire season.

Association members say this practice has made it increasingly difficult for young writers to achieve a modest middle-class lifestyle in the TV business.

“If it were up to me, I would ban small rooms. They destroyed the quality of TV shows and cut writers’ salaries. The small rooms are one of the main reasons why I voted to strike!” tweeted claws writer Darrin Dortch. “Learning about small screens made me realize that today there are so many shows that seem to struggle with continuity or a continuous season. No wonder.”

How did the actors react to the strike?

Just before the strike was announced, the cast of Christopher Nolan’s new blockbuster, Oppenheimerleft the film’s early London premiere to “go and write their signs”.

This sets the tone for other upcoming releases, the cast of which will receive scorn from their peers if they engage in any publicity obligations.

The timing isn’t ideal – two of the biggest movies of the year are scheduled for release next week: Greta Gerwig’s Barbie doll And Oppenheimer.

The promotion for the two photos reached a fever pitch thanks to marketing campaigns, talent interviews and red carpet premieres around the globe. When SAG-AFTRA ceased operations, so did the public trains.

Following the announcement, SAG sent a memo to all of its members explaining the boundaries of what they were allowed and not allowed to do (via Diversity) under the terms of the strike.

Except as provided in the Notice to Members of Non-Strike Work, all covered services and performance of television/theatrical contract work must be withheld, including but not limited to: term in:

Main work on camera, such as:

  • acting
  • Singing
  • Dance
  • performing stunts
  • Fly the plane on camera
  • Puppet○ Performance or motion capture work;

Main off-camera jobs, such as:

  • ADR/Loop
  • TV Trailer (advertisement) and Stage Trailer
  • Voice acting
  • Singing
  • Narrative, including audio description services unless these services may be covered by another collective bargaining agreement as covered in the Notice to Members of Non-Strike Work
  • Coordinating stunts and related services
  • background work
  • Independent work
  • Mirror image and/or body
  • Check out accessories, wardrobe and check makeup
  • Rehearse and test the camera
  • to scan
  • Interview and audition (including self-recorded)

Advertising/promotional services for TV/Theatrical Contract work, such as:

  • tourism
  • personal appearance
  • interview
  • Convention
  • fan exhibition
  • festival
  • For your review events
  • Panels○ Screenings/Films
  • award show
  • Garbage
  • appear podcast
  • Social media
  • studio display cabinets

Negotiate and/or engage and/or agree to:

  • An agreement to perform future covered services
  • Any new agreement related to a sale connected to a covered project
  • The creation and use of digital copies, including reuse of previous works

Perform on trailers for featured products or other ancillary content connected to featured products

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher


How will this affect the TV industry?

Meanwhile, TV networks are expected to shift their focus to game shows and reality TV series, which are scriptless and require no actors.

Late night shows like Tonight’s Show Starring Jimmy Fallon And Jimmy Kimmel Live! have been dark since May as they rely heavily on scripted monologues and comedic segments.

TV series like ABC’s Abbott Elementary School And Grey’s Anatomy will be replaced in the September showtime with game shows like Celebrity Wheel of Fortune And Dancing with the starsbased on New York Times.

Because of the length of time that TV shows are produced, it can be difficult to feel the full impact of the strikes for months or even years.

Casey Bloys, president of HBO, speak Diversity on Wednesday that “at least through the end of 2023, we are fine. And then by 2024, it started to get worse.”

Arnold warned! independence that due to the size of SAG-AFRA’s request, he believes the actors’ strike could continue well into the winter: “It’s going to be a chicken game – who’s ready to change course first?”

He pointed out that the problem is that writers and actors are not key workers like doctors or nurses, so the public won’t ask studios to indulge their requests. Streaming companies like Netflix have billions of dollars and a massive backlog of content they can afford to sit back while low-paid creators struggle.

Will the Emmys be delayed?

The union also said that the strike meant that any actors’ Emmy campaigns would be immediately ended. As a result, we could see the 2023 Emmys, currently scheduled for September 18, being postponed.

Nominations for this year’s awards were announced on Wednesday (July 12) with Television Academy president Frank Scherma expressing his wish that ongoing association negotiations would “come to an end. fair and expeditious”.

You can find a complete list of all the nominees here.


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