Why Hollywood is set to completely shut down for the first time in 60 years
Since 2 May 2023, several movie productions both in film and television have been impacted by the strike of the Writers Guild of America.
The two main reasons for the strike are residual payments from streaming media and the potential influence of AI chatbot, ChatGPT.
The WGA are going up against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). In May of 2020, a Minimum Basic Agreement principle was put in place which assured writers of a guaranteed wage while working on broadcast television shows.
However, this agreement did not stretch to streaming shows, meaning that writers working on these projects were paid significantly less.
The goals that the WGA want to achieve are as follows:
- Increase funding and job security for writers
- Increase the size of writers' rooms
- Limit the use of artificial intelligence in the writing process
Now, things are set to get even worse in Tinseltown, as the Screen Actors Guild are also primed to strike.
Actors set to strike in Hollywood
The Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists represents over 150,000 performers over a number of platforms, and they are recommending strike action after a negotiation deadline with Hollywood studios passed this week.
The two main issues the actors have is residual payments as well as the emergence of AI that could potentially replace performers.
Should a strike go ahead, it will be the first time both writers and actors have been on strike at the same time since the 1960s.
Actors went on strike in the 1980s and that walkout lasted three months.
In a statement, SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher said, "SAG-AFTRA negotiated in good faith and was eager to reach a deal that sufficiently addressed performer needs, but the AMPTP’s responses to the union’s most important proposals have been insulting and disrespectful of our massive contributions to this industry.
"The companies have refused to meaningfully engage on some topics and on others completely stonewalled us. Until they do negotiate in good faith, we cannot begin to reach a deal. We have no choice but to move forward in unity, and on behalf of our membership, with a strike recommendation to our National Board. The board will discuss the issue this morning and will make its decision."