It’s already time for the actors’ union to apply some exceptions to the big strike in order to keep these projects alive.
You are not unaware thatHollywood is upside down. The American audiovisual industry is currently frozen in the face of a strike of historic proportions. Following the actions of the Writers Guild of America, the screenwriters’ union in the region, it was the turn of SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ union to take part in the struggles on the spot. The rise of streaming has truly changed the workings of an industry that no longer pays its members fairly.
If the biggest stars necessarily stand out, the majority of actors, screenwriters and other little names can barely live from their jobs. Indeed, if we tend to have a glorified image of Hollywood, the reality is quite different. Since the launch of the various strike movements, many Netflix series actors have notably revealed the underside of on-demand entertainment. Kimiko Glenn, recurring actress of the series Orange is the New Black then reposted a video which she was recording in 2020. For her presence in 45 episodes of the series, the actress only received $27.30 in royalties over a full year.
Today, if the big stars go on strike alongside the rest of the industry, it is to give a voice to this underpaid majority. The actor Sean Gunn was quick to reveal that Disney CEO Bob Iger gets 400 times more than the company’s lowest-paid actors and screenwriters, while CEOs like him only received 30 times more in the 1980s. The joint pressure of the two unions therefore put the industry on hold to hope that the leaders would react. The members are however aware of certain more precarious projects and leave them the way clear in spite of the call to strike.
Independent films saved
Independent productions not covered by the Alliance of Film and Television Producers, a direct link with the major studios, will be able to continue their filming and promotion. This decision therefore concerns 39 upcoming creations, including the film mother mary by production company A24 behind Everything Everywhere All at Once. We will notably find Anne Hathaway (The devil wears Prada), Hunter Schafer (Euphoria) and Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You).
Same preferential treatment for Death of a Unicornworn by Paul Rudd (Ant Man) and Jenna Ortega (Wednesday) revealed variety. The long list also includes some projects like Flight Risk or The Chosen. For the time being, only independent films will be able to resume production, and no one knows when the strike will end. The adaptation of the musical Wickedthe next season of Stranger Things or Beetlejuice 2 are all on hold and promise to leave quite a cultural hole in the calendars for years to come.