In the News

What's happening in Hollywood? Here's what you should know about the strikes

Some of your fave stars like Lola Tung (The Summer I Turned Pretty) and Joey King (The Kissing Booth) have been spotted striking alongside their fellow actors and writers. But why? Well, to put it simply, most of Hollywood is on strike. Keep reading to learn why...

Not one, but two!


Yep, it's not just one, but two unions on strike rn. The first union to go on strike back in May was the Writers Guild of America (WGA), which protects the writers of your fave shows and movies. The Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA, aka SAG), which protects all your fave actors, went on strike on July 14. The last time actors and writers were on strike together was over 60 years ago (which, fun fact, was run by soon-to-be president Ronald Reagan).

Wait a sec—what is a union?


Typically seen in the workforce, a union is a group of employees who join together to advocate for certain rights, like better wages and having access to paid sick days—tbh, anything that will help improve the quality of their jobs and workplace. Employees join unions as a way to strengthen their voices when it comes to expressing concerns or suggestions to their employers. After all, strength does come in numbers!

So why are the unions on strike?


There are a ton of reasons. Essentially, the artists' contracts have expired, and big corporations like Warner Bros. and Netflix refuse to renew contracts with fair benefits. Both actors and writers are advocating for 3 main issues: 

+ Fair wages: Bc most writers and actors actually live paycheck to paycheck.
+ Streaming Residuals: This is fair payment when writers' or actors' work is rewatched on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu or other platforms.
+ A.I Protection: Artists don't want to their image or likeness to be used by A.I.

But why does this matter?


Behind the scenes of all your fave on-screen moments are hours of dedication put into writing and having people make that writing come to life. Without these artists, none of those binge-worthy shows or movies would even exist. While it's easy to get lost in the moment, clicking through the TV for what to watch, it's important to remember writers and actors are just like any of us—real people just trying to do their job.

What's going to happen?


The strikes will impact anything that hasn't been filmed or written yet, as well as any projects mid-production. For example, live shows like Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Fallon have gone dark since May when the writers strike began. Ariana Grande's new Wicked musical film had 10 days left of production when it was shut down due to the actors strike. In the coming months, there will definitely be less TV shows and movies being released.

How can I help?


It may seem like you are miles away from such a large issue to try and help. The truth? No voice or comment is too small to create change! One of the most important things you can do is spread awareness and keep the conversation going in any way you can. Post on social media and tell your friends what's going on. The more people talk about it, the more pressure studios will face and hopefully reach a fair agreement.

Slider and top Image: @jennyhan


by Roxanne Fernandes and Annika Chaves | 7/31/2023