Amidst the Barbie Movie and Openheimer press tour, everyone is excited for these summer movies to hit the theatres. However, the “Barbenheimer” actors have decided to end their press tour way early. The Screen Actors Guild- American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) recently announced a unanimous vote to recommend a strike action. The WGA Writer’s Strike is also still on after 73 days.
What is SAG-AFTRA?
The guild SAG-AFTRA defends actors’ rights in the American cinema, television, and radio industries. After rejecting an offer from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), they decided to go on strike.
The agreement would have required background players in large-scale films to be digitally scanned, even for a single day, with the scanned photographs being used indefinitely.
Connecting With The Writers’ Strike.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA), which represents over 11,500 screenwriters, has been on strike since May 2, 2023. Since the Covid epidemic, this strike has caused the most significant interruption to American television. The authors are protesting the problem of streaming media residuals as well as the marketing of AI tools like chatGPT as inspiration tools rather than as a substitute for originality.
SAG-AFTRA has recently joined the WGA on the picket line. Celebrities like Jane Fonda participated in street protests alongside activists, Matt Damon spoke out in support of the strikes on the red carpet, and the cast of Oppenheimer just left the film’s London premiere, which has now gone viral.
The Actors’ Strike
According to the BBC, up to 160,000 unionized actors are on strike seeking greater pay and protections against the use of artificial intelligence. Before Wednesday at midnight, the deadline to settle before a strike, the union was in discussions with major studios, but no agreement was achieved.
The decline in residual earnings, which actors and writers receive from reruns of their movies and television series, is a major worry. Because streaming websites don’t reveal their audience demographics and instead pay a set fee as residuals, residuals have all but vanished.
Fresh seasons of comedies and dramas that regularly premiere in September will probably be delayed due to the actors’ strike.
“We managed as an industry to negotiate a very good deal with the Directors Guild, that reflects the value that the directors contribute to this great business.” Disney+ CEO, Bob Iger said.
“There’s a level of expectation that they have that is just not realistic. And they are adding to the set of challenges that this business is already facing, that is quite frankly, very disruptive,” he adds.
Barbenheimer and Strike
The actors of “Oppenheimer” departed the London premiere on Thursday, but co-writer Noah Baumbach was absent from the “Barbie” global premiere in Los Angeles on Sunday.
“My co-writer and co-creator, my partner in love and art, Noah Baumbach is not here,” Greta Gerwig, the film’s director, said, per Variety. “He is passionately supporting the fight of the Writers Guild of America. He is a Barbie girl. Nothing in ‘Barbie’ happened without him, and nothing in Hollywood happens without writers.”
Hollywood is currently facing two strikes at once. Several shows like Stranger Things, Wicked, and SNL are halted. Will AMPTP end up agreeing to the Writer’s and Actor’s demands?