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Hollywood Unions Strike Against Studios And Streamers Over Labor Contract

Hollywood writers and actors strike for fair labor contract amid demands for higher pay and protection against AI technology.

Hollywood writers and actors are striking against the association that represents the studios and streamers over a fair labor contract. The Writers Guild of America is on strike for 10 weeks now, and the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have been on strike since July 14.

This marked the first time in 63 years since both associations have together gone on a strike

Mary Trump, the niece of former President Donald Trump, took to Twitter to lend her support to the striking Hollywood workforce.

“I don’t think that this industry has ever really understood the value of what it is to use your body, your heart and your mind as your product,” Mary Trump said.

“Maybe at this point being an actor could gain some more honor,” she added.

While giving a call to stand in solidarity with the actors and screenwriters, Mary Trump said, “Writers and actors are the creators of the content we love–not overpaid studio executives.”

Members of the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild, as well as supporters, walk the picket line outside Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California, on July 20, 2023.  The Writers Guild of America is on strike for 10 weeks now, and the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have been on strike since July 14. PHOTO BY ROBYN BECK/GETTY IMAGES

Hollywood actors have taken up picketing, demanding higher pay amid the inflationary environment. SAG-AFTRA contends that studios, including Comcast Corp.’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBCUniversal, Paramount Global (NASDAQ:PARA), Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Amazon, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Sony Group Corp.’s (NYSE:SONY) Sony Pictures Entertainment, have failed to negotiate pay raises for performers.

The streamers and studios have also refused to share streaming revenues.

Among the demands of actors was an 11% general wage increase in year one, while the studios and streamers were okay with only 5%. The striking workers claim that the 5% increase would mean they would have to take a pay cut while adjusting for inflation.

Performers also sought the protection of their images and performances to prevent the replacement of human performances by AI technology and a comprehensive plan for actors to participate in streaming revenue. They said the current business model eroded their residual income.

The performers also demanded raises in contribution caps for their health and retirement funds and the freedom to be able to work during work breaks and not held captives by employers.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, representing the studios, accuses the union of mischaracterizing its position.  “The deal that SAG-AFTRA walked away from on July 12 is worth more than $1 billion in wage increases, pension & health contributions, and residual increases and includes first-of-their-kind protections over its three-year term, including expressly with respect to A.I.,”  it reportedly said.

Produced in association with Benzinga

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