The union representing more than 150,000 television and film actors is on strike, including screenwriters who walked out in May to create Hollywood’s first industrywide shutdown in 63 years.
Here is what you need to know.
Why are actors and writers on strike?
Salary is often at the heart of stopping work and that is the case here as well. But the rise of streaming and the challenges posed by the pandemic have put pressure on studios, many of which are facing financial challenges, as well as actors and writers seeking better pay and new security in a rapidly changing workplace. have been
Both actors and screenwriters have demanded increased residual payments (a type of royalty) from streaming services. Streaming series typically have fewer episodes than television series. And it used to be that if a television series was a hit, the actors and writers could count on a long stream of regular residual checks; Streaming has changed the system in a way that they say has hurt them. Both groups also want aggressive guardrails around the use of artificial intelligence to preserve jobs.
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher announced the strike on Thursday, saying “the whole business model has been changed”. “This is a moment in history – a moment of truth,” she said. “At some point, you have to say, ‘No, we’re not going to take this anymore.'”
What is the status of Hollywood studios?
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents major studios and streamers, has said it has offered “historic pay and residual increases” as well as higher limits on pension and health contributions. They also say their proposal includes audition security, an “unprecedented” proposal on artificial intelligence, and other benefits that address union concerns.
Hollywood studios have also emphasized that all the turmoil in the industry hasn’t been easy for them either. As moviegoers have slowed to return to movie theaters and home audiences have moved from cable and network television to streaming entertainment, many studios have seen their share prices decline and their profit margins shrink. Some companies have resorted to layoffs or put projects on hold – or both.
What will happen to my TV shows and movies?
Movie lovers will take some time to see the change, as most of the films releasing this year have already been shot. But TV viewers are already seeing the impact of the strike, and if it drags on, the next season of the popular show could be delayed.
Late-night shows are already in reruns due to the writers’ strike, and most TV and film productions have already shut down or halted production. Big name shows like “yellow jacket,Separation” And “stranger thingsWork came to a halt after the writers’ strike began; It is not yet clear whether their upcoming season will be delayed or not.
Disney announced Several changes to its theatrical release calendar In June, in the midst of a writers’ strike.
Now the strike of the actors will create even more upheaval.
During the first two weeks of July, no scripted TV permits were issued in Los Angeles County, according to FilmLA, which tracks production activity. Films and TV shows that have completed shooting and are already in postproduction are likely to remain on schedule, as the remaining work usually does not involve writers or actors.
With a few exceptions, participation in film or television production with any studio has now ceased. And that means that within a few months — starting with the fall lineup — viewers will start to see drastic changes in their TV diets.
For example, the ABC fall schedule will begin with a nightly lineup that includes “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “Judge Steve Harvey” as well as reruns of “Abbott Elementary.” Fox Broadcast Network’s fall lineup includes unscripted series like “Celebrity Name That Tune,” “The Masked Singer” and “Kitchen Nightmares.”
How long can all this drag on?
I wish we had known.
The writers have been on strike for more than 70 days, and their union, the Writers Guild of America, has yet to return to bargaining with the studios.
The last time writers and actors went on strike at the same time was in 1960, when Ronald Reagan was president of the Screen Actors Guild.
Screenwriters have walked out several times, sometimes for long periods: their 2007 strike lasted 100 days. The last time actors staged a major walkout was in 1980; This went on for more than three months.
What about promoting current shows and movies?
Don’t expect to hear Ryan Gosling talking about “Barbie” again in the near future. During the strike, union members will be prohibited from engaging in promotional activities called for by their contracts – including touring, appearances, interviews, conventions, fan expos, festivals, panels, premieres, screenings, awards shows, junkets, podcast appearances and social media are included. ,
This could be very bad news for San Diego’s Comic-Con and upcoming film festivals in places like Venice and Toronto. The New York premiere of “Oppenheimer,” proposed on Monday, decided to ditch its red carpet.
The 75th Emmy Awards, which announced its nominations yesterday, may now be in jeopardy. Organizers have already discussed postponing the September 18 event, possibly by months.
Nicole Sperling And John Koblin Contributed reporting.