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Actors on Strike – Everything You Should Know

Pictured above are actors in the SAG-AFTRA union protesting in New York City this summer. Actors and other workers are seen gathered holding signs labeled “ON STRIKE.” (Photo courtesy of John Nacion/ Getty Images.)

As of July 14, 2023, most big-name actors and writers have gone on strike under the labor unions SAG-AFTRA and WGA. The labor unions contain over 160,000 people in the entertainment industry. The strike has put filming for many movies and shows on pause, causing an upheaval in the media.  

One of the obvious factors that led to the strike was the low wages actors are paid. Actors have always been paid less than they deserve, as film making is expensive and production companies become greedy (as most companies are), and take more money for themselves than necessary.  

Actors are paid directly after completing a project and are also paid residuals – a percentage of payment that is received as film projects are released on platforms such as cable, theaters, and most importantly, streaming services.  

Streaming services are a very new aspect that the film industry has had to work with, and the residuals actors receive from these services are next to nothing. When a film is released on a cable network or theater, each showing of the film gains profit that goes to actors. However, with the introduction of streaming, films can be viewed at any time, and profit is not gained per viewing. 

Another issue arising in the film industry is the growing popularity of Artificial Intelligence (AI). These genius computer systems can write scripts in a fraction of the time it would take a person to do so. The use of AI when it comes to writing is extremely controversial, as the computers simply regurgitate ideas from previous works. 

Additionally, as AI continues to develop, it will eventually be able to create entire movies, with computer generated people and scenes all on its own. This would save an extreme amount of money, time, and effort, but would ultimately put the movie industry out of business. 

As of today, Thursday, September 21, Hollywood Studios plans to come to an agreement with writers, ending the WGA’s strike.  However, if a deal cannot be made, the strike will likely continue into 2024. SAG – AFTRA has not yet reached an agreement. 

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About the Contributor
Juliana Vendetti, Staff Reporter
This is Jules’s first year as a journalist with The Print! Other than writing, her biggest passions include singing, acting, and teaching. She is currently President of the FHS Drama Company and can be found performing in community theatre outside of school as well. Shes also a cake decorator, performs as a party princess for children’s parties, and sings for St. Matthew Lutheran Church. She has always loved writing and is thrilled to be a member of The Print 
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