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Actors and screenwriters strike: summary and impact of the decision in Hollywood

One of the most commented subjects in recent days is certainly the great strike of screenwriters and actors in Hollywood, which has been paralyzing several productions that are already active or about to start work and even the dissemination of works is paralyzed. The Actors Union (SAG – AFTRA) and the Screenwriters Union (WGA) started the uprising after failing to reach an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), an association that represents several film and series studios, such as Sony, Disney, Warner, among others.

MOTIVATION OF SCREENWRITERS

bruna marquezine in blue beetle poster
Photo: Playback/Instagram @wbpictures_br

Among the claims denied by the AMPTP, the main request of the screenwriters, who have been on strike since May 2nd, is an increase in the salaries of professionals, as well as greater receipt of profits generated by the transmission of productions by streaming, since payments are not would have adapted to the new reality of production and distribution of audiovisual works.

Currently, screenwriters receive a fixed annual pay, seen by the WGA as “too low in view of the massive international reuse”, focusing on super popular productions, such as “Bridgerton”, “Stranger Things” and “The Last of Us”, big successes in which there was no additional gain on the part of the professionals involved.

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In the past, with the series having many episodes per season on television channels, then the writers earned a weekly salary for a good part of the year, in addition to receiving a licensing fee for re-exhibition on TV or physical media.

The proposed resolution would be a fee based on additional demand based on the number of subscribers on a platform and also on how many people watched that production, and thus, those who wrote more successful works would earn more value, just like at the time when that reruns were common for this “mini-fee” to be given. There was neither approval nor counterproposal of the idea.

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Another point asked by the professionals was that there be regulation of the use of artificial intelligence and tools such as ChatGPT in writing scripts. In short, the WGA wants guarantees that studios don’t use AI to write screenplays from professionals’ past work, nor that screenwriters are asked to rewrite drafts of scripts created by AI. There was also no counter-proposal for this item.

ACTORS’ MOTIVATION

actors on strike
Playback/Instagram

The actors, who went on strike only last Thursday, July 13, ask, according to Variety, for a review of residual earnings from streaming, salary increases, regulation of AI use, limitation of casting tests prerecorded recordings, increasing pensions and health plans, updating contract periods and other contract topics.

Residual earnings are the main cause of discussion, as each actor receives a fixed amount from the studio for including the work on a streaming platform, regardless of its success or not, and artists struggle so that the residual earnings for works made available on the streaming are based on the popularity of each work and production value to the company.

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This would be a solution to the end of television reruns, after all, they earn a good amount for each time an episode or film was shown more than once, which for years was the main source of income for both actors and screenwriters, but the old television system is going downhill.

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We cannot forget the use of Artificial Intelligence to replicate the image of different actors in a production, with actors revealing that they even received a proposal to have their image copied by the AI ​​and that they would receive only for the daily rate of that moment, but the studios would reuse the image as much as they wanted indefinitely.

The Union asks for consent for any and all individual use of an actor’s image, a point that the AMPTP refused to accept, irritating the artistic class, which would have an image reproduced all over the place without being paid for it.

HOW IS THE STRIKE HAPPENING?

hollywood screenwriters on strike
Photo: Grosby Group

Over the weekend, protesters showed up in New York, as well as Los Angeles at the offices of Netflix, Warner Bros. Discovery and at the offices of Amazon, Paramount, HBO and NBCUniversal, all of which are located on a different street and, as we said, were picketed in a different city than Hollywood, showing how the movement is national.

“The issues they don’t even discuss are the most important issues, and if we don’t address them now, if we don’t deal with streaming now, if we don’t deal with AI now, there won’t be any going back. We can’t make that mistake,” Monarch actress Susan Sarandon of “Thelma & Louise” said at the Netflix protest.

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Still, the dissemination of several films is being affected. The cast of Oppenhaimer, anticipating the announcement of the strike, abandoned the official debut of the feature for guests in London, with the right to a red carpet and everything, and the next ones will not have “Barbie” also stopped doing their events, which were in full swing. steam.

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“Blue Beetle”, an upcoming DC movie that will open in theaters on August 17 in theaters, had the stars, Xolo Maridueña It is Bruna Marquezineannouncing that they could not release the film as a rule of the Unions because of the strike, making fans move on social networks to promote the film massively.

WILL THERE BE NO MOVIE PREMIERS?

barbie movie logo with ryan gosling and margot robbie
Photo: Playback/Instagram @wbpictures_br

The question was exaggerated, but a lot of people might think that or have several doubts related to the subject, and seeing that the actors won’t even publicize the productions with a scheduled premiere scared a lot of people.

But are they forbidden to talk about their jobs? Forbidden, no, the strike can be broken to a greater or lesser extent, but the indications of the Unions are strictly followed in Hollywood, and what the movement decides is accepted, as they usually represent well the demands of the artists, who agreed with the negotiations made and the decisions made.

The same goes for the screenwriters and that is why works were being filmed even with their strike. However, with the actors going on strike together, filming was stopped for good, after all, the stars will not show up for their scenes until the strike is over. “Deadpool 3” was in full swing without the writers present, and now everything is at a standstill.

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With that, it is certain that several postponements will happen, as the scheduled premiere date is based on the schedule of the studios for the production of the work, with pre-production, in which the cast, professionals involved, location and duration are chosen.

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After filming, post-production comes into play, including the insertion of filters, special effects, montage and soundtrack, with space for eventual reshoots to take place. That is, a stoppage of filming happening, the schedule will not be fulfilled as previously, so the original premieres will not be able to be maintained.

CANCELLATIONS AND EVENTS

hollywood sign
Photo: Playback/Canva

There is a possibility that many announced films and series will be cancelled, because without screenwriters, there will be no writing of the projects, and if the studio wants to cut future expenses, there will be a sieve of which attractions deserve to see the light of day. If the script is ready, without actors, works can be canceled in the same way for the same reason.

In the coming months, there will be no impact on premieres, as there are projects in post-production or finished, which will manage to reach the small screen or big screen, since neither actors nor screenwriters participate in these stages (disclosure only), but remembering that reshoots will not be possible, and if a work needs adjustments, it either waits or premieres without them.

However, for 2024, side effects will be felt, as that is when works in production this year would begin to debut, and with the affected schedule, the future is uncertain. If the studios have “backups” or advanced post-production on several works, it may be that, in the best scenario, by the end of the first half of next year, things will be flowing as expected, but it will not go beyond that ( if you reach that level).

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Incidentally, major events will be affected, such as San Diego Comic Con, as major actors will not appear to publicize their work, as well as press conferences and world premieres. At conventions, trailers may be shown for shorter works, but only with a producer or director present, no stars.

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It is worth noting that some attractions will remain in production because they are from other countries, such as “A Casa do Dragão”, which is from England, and if they do not join the strike, these international markets will be at full steam. But it is Hollywood that concentrates a large part of the market, we cannot forget…

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Actors and screenwriters strike: summary and impact of the decision in Hollywood

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