After the screenwriters, it’s the turn of the actors to be on strike in Hollywood. But for what reasons? And what impact on the industry and the next releases? Explanations and decryption.
It is an unprecedented movement that is shaking the film and television industry in the United States. On strike since early May, Hollywood screenwriters were joined by actors on July 14, 2023. This is the first time since 1980 that American actors have gone on strike. As a result, almost all productions, but also the promotion of upcoming releases, are put on hold.
Hollywood actors and screenwriters have several complaints. First, the revaluation of their salaries. Then, this strike aims to protest against the use of artificial intelligence in film and television production. Indeed, some studios have made no secret of their interest in using AI to write scripts or clone actors’ voices and images. The studios and streaming platforms, represented by the AMPTP, did not hide their “disappointment” at the failure of the negotiations initiated, the boss of Disney, Bob Iger, having even qualified the demands of the screenwriters and actors “unrealistic”.
For the time being, it is not known when the strike may end in Hollywood. The last writers’ strike took place in 2007 and 2008. It lasted 100 days and cost the entire industry $2 million. Below, we explain everything you need to know about the strike in Hollywood.
Why is there a strike in Hollywood?
The screenwriters of the WGA (Writers Guild of America) have been on strike since May 2, 2023. They were joined on July 14 by the SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), a union representing actors of Hollywood. These two trades have decided to unite around common demands:
- An increase in wages : the scriptwriters believe in particular that they are not paid enough compared to other professions in the industry, and would like to receive a fair share of the profits generated by streaming. They are also asking for guarantees so that their jobs are more stable. For their part, the players are also asking for an increase in the minimum wage and the revision of the residual payment, which has been undermined since the emergence of streaming.
- artificial intelligence : The screenwriters are worried about recent proposals by various studios to use artificial intelligence to generate scripts. The actors themselves are worried that their image and voice will be used against their will by AI-generated replicas of their image.
What can be the impact of the strike in Hollywood?
The strike in Hollywood may have serious consequences for the sector. Series and film production is on hold until further notice. Concretely, this means that there will be no more auditions or filmed tests or dubbing, which puts a stop to pre-production. Filming is also on hold. Finally, all the promotion of the next releases is undermined, since the actors will no longer participate in interviews, previews or festivals. The Venice Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival could suffer the price. So as soon as the strike was voted on by the actors union, the Oppenheimer cast immediately walked out of the London premiere.
How long will there be a strike in Hollywood?
It’s unclear when the strike in Hollywood might end. The latest negotiations between unions and studios and streaming platforms have failed. The latter have also made it known in the press that they would be ready to wait until the strikers are exhausted and financially cornered before resuming discussions. According to information from Deadlinethe studios could wait until the fall before resuming negotiations.