Thursday, a The Screen Actors Guild is the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists The union, which represents approximately 150,000 actors, announcers, dancers, gymnasts, and other artists, has now joined the union. Writers Guild of America in order to force television and film studios to seriously negotiate contracts that will solve problems that are already threatening to destroy the lives and jobs of many in the industry.
As SAG-AFTRA leadership stated,
… talks with the studios on a new deal have ended, with streaming services and artificial intelligence at the center of the dispute. On Friday, the actors will join showrunners, who resigned in May, on picket lines in New York, Los Angeles and many other American cities where shows and movies are made.
In addition to those brief remarks, SAG President Fran Drescher spoke passionately about the future of entertainment and the people who work there. It’s a speech that deserves to be heard because not only does Drescher show the importance of these events to his union members, he shows with precision and force that this is a labor issue that affects everyone.
Drescher: “The eyes of the world, especially the eyes of work, are on us. What is happening now is important. Because what is happening to us is happening in all areas of work. “
The trend in sports entertainment is two-fold: First, the traditional ways of delivering entertainment with movies shown in theaters and television shown on radio and cable are being destroyed.
This means that the residuals that were paid for before a film or program was rebroadcast or released to home media are all gone. The production companies, working with the power of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, have used this opportunity to renew the contracts of writers, actors, and others in such a way that more more money back to the big studios. In the past, being a part of a popular show like “Friends” or “Seinfeld” could mean those involved would enjoy years of cash flow, but studios have used the marketing pivot to turn mass productions into something closer to “philanthropy.” hire”: They receive a flat or fixed salary, regardless of how popular the resulting work may be.
Both actors and writers are also facing a threat from AI tools that are not only coming in the future, but have a significant impact on the income of many. right now. Contrary to the assumptions made by the reports of huge salaries for famous actors in big movies, many actors—including the actors you know and enjoy in the big leagues—have a very difficult time making even a small living in the industry. Many never get there.
The stories of actors who have wasted their time waiting on the couch while rushing to auditions are not true, as most of the auditions they chase are small, with little or no dialogue. These small roles have helped many actors break into the industry or provided them with a large amount of money that supported them while they waited for their next big break.
And that’s the second big problem. Those jobs, the jobs that make the player’s life possible, are going away thanks to AI.
Actors are finding that studios want their day one to include a time slot, and to have their voice recorded. There are stories about actors in the Disney series equivalents were listed and licensed “in perpetuity” for less than $100. These actors will not get another call for a small role. Why? The studio can always put it behind any production, running it like a toy over and over again. By comparison, Disney CEO Bob Iger’s net worth is significant $690 million, earning $65 million in 2018 alone.
Industry reports indicate that studios already have their own strategies for the show. That approach is based on the knowledge that writers and actors already live on the edge. This is why studios don’t want to honestly discuss the concerns of actors and writers. They think they can just starve them to death.
Where actors and writers used to see a check—usually a very small paycheck—when a show they performed or wrote aired again, they now receive a one-time payment. The one-time payment is usually less than it was two decades ago.
Actors who may have a small role in the background or as a minor character in a drama are forced to agree to have their images cut so that studios can use them in other productions.
All the restructuring of the industry surrounding the advertising services brings huge payments to investors and managers even actors, writers, and all those who work to make entertainment possible to see their salaries disappear by the day.
What is happening now is not just another strike. It’s a constant battle to keep a business where many workers have never been close to rich and many were already struggling.
SAG-AFTRA and WGA members deserve everyone’s support. Not just those who enjoy their work, but anyone who is worried about how the constant improvement of processes made possible by technology will affect their work.
This is why you should consider joining a group of entertainment viewers. Starting from Oga. 1, select one of the social media or cable channels you pay for and cancel. If the studios don’t agree with the writers and actors by Oct. 1, do it again.
If you don’t subscribe to these things… good for you, you’re already doing what you can. But for those who do, this is the time to show which side in this battle you have your loyalty to.
Drescher: “It’s unfortunate that it came to this crossroads, but we have no choice. We are the victims here. We are being victimized by a very greedy society. I am amazed at how the people we have been doing business with treat us. I can’t believe it, to be honest. The way they plead poverty, that they are losing money left and right, while handing out hundreds of millions of dollars to their CEOs. It’s disgusting. Shame on them. They are on the wrong side of history.”