Here is a round-up of the best news coverage of the 2023 WGA/SAG-AFTRA Strike from Wednesday, August 2nd, 2023. Links will be added and updated throughout the day:
* The Hollywood Strikes May Kill Moviegoing This Year (Vanity Fair)
Say goodbye to new movies for the rest of the year. That’s the rumbling in Hollywood as the actors union digs in with the writers guild in their protracted strikes against networks and studios. With negotiations stalled, and the walkout by the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists bringing an abrupt halt to nearly everything and anything currently shooting, insiders predict it will also prompt distribution heads to immediately search for distant points on the calendar to reschedule films that are already largely finished.
* Sean Penn Slams 'Sickness' Of AI While Joining Picket Line Outside Disney For Actors' Strikes (Metro UK)
"There’s going to have to be a reality check with the producers in the sense that, long term, an exploited business is a not productive one for anyone and that this is a quality-of-life and basic decency issue," he said.
* Writers To AMPTP: We'll Keep Walking 'Til You Start Talking (Strikegeist)
"I'm reading all those rumors in the press that the companies are wanting to get back. That's coming from them. We didn't put that out," WGA negotiating committee co-chair David Goodman told me at the Universal rally over Sidewalk-gate, just hours before the guild informed membership of the latest development. "So that tells me there's some people over there who’ve had enough, and they want to get back to the table."
* Striking Actors Are Turning To Cameo for Extra Cash (The NY Times)
In May, around the time that movie and television writers’ unions went on strike, the actors’ union finalized a deal with Cameo that allows its members to have earnings from certain bookings applied toward their health insurance minimum earnings requirement, Ms. Morrow said. Those bookings must be made through Cameo 4 Business, where corporate customers like insurance companies and grocery store chains hire talent for promotional videos.
* At Striking Actors' Hangout Bar, Tiny Residual Checks No Longer A Joke (Reuters)
For actors trying to make it in Hollywood, a small residual check from one of their first jobs used to prompt laughter, and at one neighborhood watering hole, a drink on the house. Residuals Tavern provided a free beer to any performer who brought in a check for less than $1 from reruns of TV shows or movies and posted the check on a wall.
* New York City Council's Labor Committee Approves Resolution Supporting SAG-AFTRA & WGA Strikes (Deadline)
Said Council member Carmen De La Rosa, who co-sponsored the resolution: "New York City is proudly a union town and a home to creators of all kinds. As inflation and the cost of living continues to soar, it is important that our workforce can sustain a life of dignity in our city. Wages, however, have remained stagnant. Large companies have made profits off of the backs of our entertainment workers for far too long, shamelessly making millions and threatening the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people. We expect the AMPTP to engage in good faith — New York City is depending on it."
* Hollywood Studios Signal New Strategy By Talking With Writers (The NY Times)
When the Writers Guild of America told its members on Tuesday night that movie and television studios had asked for “a meeting this Friday to discuss negotiations,” it was the first sign of movement in a stalemate that had begun in early May.
* Marcus CEO Says Strikes 'Nothing Like' Covid Hit To Theaters (Yahoo Entertainment)
"This is not a demand problem, it is supply-chain disruption," added the colorful CEO know for dancing on TikTok videos. "A disruption is not helpful [but] we believe it is a short-term dispute that will ultimately be resolved. Metaphorically speaking, mom and dad are fighting, but they have no choice but to live in the same house." The massive success of Barbie and Oppenheimer has made him more optimistic than ever on the future of exhibition, he said, assuming studios and hoping investors also see it that way. He gave a shout-out to Sound of Freedom, which has been playing well in the the circuit’s largely midwestern markets.
* SAG-AFTRA, WGA Strikes Are Trying To Topple A Broken Industry (Teen Vogue)
In the race to streaming, the old, white, wealthy CEOs of these companies have bet big on continuous reboots and remakes, with the popularity of the MCU providing encouragement. But these CEOs and their studios, products of conglomerate mergers, aren’t just impacting movie screens (or streamer apps); the IP glut is an attempted opiate for the masses that overwrites possibilities for films that could serve a purpose beyond the creation and sale of more toys and merchandise. Whether or not these CEO's believe audiences want extended universes and multiverses, the real motivation seems to be that they can parlay infinitely expanding IP into infinitely expanding moneymaking opportunities.
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