Hollywood actors join writers in historic strike – Here’s what it means
Hollywood is experiencing its first big shutdown in six decades as tens of thousands of film and TV actors have decided to join writers who walked off the job weeks ago over threats posed by artificial intelligence and challenges associated with dwindling pay.
The strike was announced by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) – which represents around 160,000 performers including A-list stars, such as Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie and Tom Cruise – after it failed to reach an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers.
Although the top stars joining the strike won’t be gaining much financially “because their agents negotiate individual contracts with studios that far exceed the union minimums being fought over,” their presence can be pressing, said actor Dominic Burgess.
It’s the first time the two unions have staged walkouts simultaneously since 1960, when actor and former US President Ronald Reagan led the demonstrations. A number of films and television shows could take a hit. Read on.
Impact On Movies And Streaming Services
Independent productions that are not covered by labour contracts with unions would run as usual despite scores of actors joining the strike. But production of film and scripted TV shows in the country would stop.
Production of ‘Stranger Things’, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and other popular series now encounter lengthy delays. If protests continue, several major movies could be postponed as well. Nevertheless, since movies take years to produce, their flow to theatres is unlikely to take an immediate hit.
But future releases like Marvel’s ‘Blade’ have been delayed and several more could be put on hold until the tensions ease. Promotional events for upcoming projects yet to reach cinemas will be cancelled. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime would be affected.
TV and digital subscriptions represent more than 90% of consumer spending in the US entertainment industry. Until the labour conflicts are resolved, streaming services can only supply local-language shows made in places like India and South Korea.