The Day the Movies Ended 


Thursday night thousands of actors walked off the sets of Hollywood demanding to be paid livable wages. Now all of Hollywood is at a standstill. Aidan Britton, an American film student believes that the union’s demands should be met. An Opinion.

Are you excited to see Ariana Grande’s Wicked, the Beetlejuice sequel, or the third installment of Marvel’s series Deadpool hit theaters? Well, due to strikes across Hollywood, you will have to wait to see these movies. 

Why Are Unions Striking

The Hollywood actors union approved a strike on Thursday for the first time in over 43 years after negotiations with studios collapsed with streaming services and artificial intelligence at the center of the standoff. Nearly 160,00 actors joined the strike with the Writers Guild of America who walked off the job back in May.  

The demands of the actors are very similar to those of the writers. Both unions assert that they are working to ensure that workaday members, particularly those producing films or television shows for streaming platforms, receive livable wages.

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) to produce scripts is a concern for screenwriters. Actors are concerned that, without their permission or payment, technology may be used to make digital copies of their likenesses or to change performances.

Should Actors Be Paid??

As a filmmaker and writer who is early in my career, I fully support the strikes for both the Writers Guild and the SAG-AFTRA, the actors guild. Both organizations have very good goals and they are striking for all of the right reasons. We are at a really important part in history for cinema with new innovations in technology every single day so having these important demands and conversations sets a precedent that is needed in the film world. 

I want to work in an industry that cares about my rights and these strikes are happening to protect the everyday actor and writer. With an ever changing world I am scared that one day I won’t have a job because it has been taken over by A.I.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, a group that represents all the major Hollywood studios say that they have been more than fair in trying to reach a deal and that the strike is

“the union’s choice, not ours.” 

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers

Why is a Strike Needed?

That statement is true, it is the unions choice and it’s a decision that was made after 98% of the guild agreed to strike. I fully support the strike because actors need to be paid a liveable wage and need to have their personal image and likeness protected and I do not think there needs to be a discussion on if the guild’s demands should be met.  

However, when it comes to this very large issue that affects hundreds of thousands of workers in the film industry I have to agree with the side of Fran Drescher who is the President of SAG-AFTRA, and her statement

“plead poverty, that they are losing money left and right, while they give millions to their CEOs. They stand on the wrong side of history at this very moment.” 

Fran Drescher, SAG-AFTRA President

Looking Towards The Future

There should not be an argument on if actors and writers should be paid a livable wage. With the ability to tell an A.I. to write a script or to digitally create an actor, it creates a very scary future. This is why these strikes are necessary – to protect workers’ jobs and to ensure that they are being paid reasonably. 

With all of this happening, seeing so many actors and writers stand up for what they deserve inspires me. I want to be able to succeed and seeing so many people stand up to these large film studios makes me confident that we are moving in the right direction to make a better future for all workers in the film industry. I’m glad that the road ahead is being paved to protect worker´s rights and their careers.

 So until a reasonable deal is reached we will have to wait to see many anticipated films and tv shows.