Hollywood on Strike

May 2, 2023.

A day that shall forever be remembered. At least by those of us who love TV and movies. Because this marked the beginning of the WGA (Writers Guild of America) strike. But the question remains: WHY?

Let’s use TV as an example. When you write an episode of (let’s use Friends as the example) a TV show you get paid for that episode. When that series gets picked up in syndication you get residuals off of that for years. Sounds good, right? It does, but now in the streaming age, writers get paid upfront for the episodes. They don’t take into account the views on the show or if it gets shipped to another streaming service. The writers get one flat fee. And not per airing of the episode like on TV. That’s what they are fighting for streaming to be the same payout as working on TV, and this lover of movies and TV thinks it is deserved that it gets treated as such. Also to restrict the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the writing process.

Now it’s the middle of July, and the SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) just joined the picket lines. Even leaving the premiere of OPPENHEIMER. They joined due to the streaming aspect, but there is another factor. That factor is the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) to replace actors on set, and scanning of their faces to generate a digital performance (seen mainly in the latest STAR WARS movies). These are justifiable reasons to strike.

What does this entail for the future? Actors are not allowed to promote films, be signed onto new movies/TV, and cannot appear on talk shows (talk shows have to put a disclaimer on it saying that this was filmed before the strike. However, anything that is finished, in post-production, is still going to be released. This also means no San Diego Comic Con appearances either.

This puts a major stranglehold on movies and TV. Until this is settled, things that may just be getting started or in the filming process are going to be halted and moved back. So things like DEADPOOL 3, MCU, and DCU films are being pushed back.

This might suck in the meantime, but for all parties involved, it is long overdue in the advent of streaming. It won’t be a fun ride, it will be a long one. One that will hopefully refuel the stagnant Hollywood.

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