Today marks the 100th day of the ongoing WGA strike. The SAG-AFTRA strike started just under a month ago. As this historic strike continues with no signs of stopping, productions all over the world have ground to a halt, even more Hollywood labor unions are forming, studios have put many upcoming films on indefinite delay (i.e. holding them hostage), and reps for the AMPTP have refused to come back to the negotiating table.
At stake are a number of issues involving wages, credits, working conditions, and other such union mandates that haven’t been updated in the past several decades. The film and TV landscape has changed in so many ways — most especially in the streaming age — demanding new rules and protocols that the studios have flatly refused. That’s not even getting started on the advent of CGI and de-aging technology that can be used to replicate actors’ likenesses with photorealistic clarity and animation that wouldn’t have been possible 15 years ago, to say nothing of AI that could potentially be used to replace writers in the near future (if they’re not already).
The people who make our entertainment are asking for a miniscule sliver of box office revenue and some common-sense assurances regarding AI technology. In response, the studios drag their feet and let their productions go dark, potentially costing them millions more than what SAG-AFTRA and the WGA are asking for. It’s also rather telling that smaller indie companies (A24, for example) have earned waivers to continue production because they’re somehow able to afford compliance with union demands while the bigger studios are not.
Because the truth is, for the bigger studios and the billionaire assholes running them, this was never about money. This is about power. They can abide losing millions or even billions of dollars, but they can never abide anyone telling them what they can and cannot do. They must never EVER allow any rules or laws or societal notions that anyone can tell the rich and powerful what they can do.
To date (so far as I’m aware), neither the WGA nor SAG-AFTRA are calling for any boycotts. Indeed, if box office receipts plummet without clear reason to believe that it’s in solidarity with the unions, that could simply give the studios another reason to cry poverty and continue to refuse union demands. And it’s not like box office returns aren’t bewildering enough right now, as Disney tentpoles crumble with historic devastation and Sound of Freedom is getting astroturfed into one of the year’s big sleeper hits, but I digress.
The point being that until the unions say otherwise, we should all feel free to see what we like and support the films we want our artists to get back to making. If we show the studios that we want a sequel to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, maybe that’ll give them sufficient incentive to pay their writers and actors and make the damn movie.
But then this came to my attention.
“Influencers should not accept any new work for promotion of struck companies or their content.”
I’ve always resisted the label of “influencer”. I don’t do this full-time, and I’ve never wanted to try and make a living out of this. From the outset, I’ve been open and honest about the fact that I’m entirely self-taught. I didn’t go to any kind of school for this, I’m no kind of professional. I’m not a critic — that implies some level of professionalism — I’m just a humble blogger.
Even so, if I’m not doing this to share my opinions with my readers, advising — or “influencing” them on what films may or may not be worth their time and money, then what the fuck am I doing here?
I hope that from the very outset, my communications on this blog and on social media show that I am firmly in support of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA in their actions and demands. I support the strike, and that means following their lead. As such, until such time as the AMPTP decides to get their heads out of their asses and do the bare fucking minimum to make sure their writers and actors get sustainable wages and reasonable working conditions (or at least until the unions give the all-clear to come back), I’m stepping away from the blog.
I stand in solidarity with the workers who make our entertainment. I will continue to see the movies and TV shows that interest me, and I encourage you all to keep seeing the things you enjoy seeing. I will continue posting on social media in support of the strike, and I hope to see you all there as well.
See you on the other side, gentle readers. Stay strong.