Learn To Code: Hollywood Actors Join Writers Strike, Say They Can’t Make Money

So the actors guild have joined the writers strike, and many have failed to learn the lesson from the fast food folks who pushed for $15 an hour (then $18, $21, $25)

‘It’s a constant hustle’: Hollywood actors join writers on the picket line

It’s been a hot, frustrating summer on the picket lines in Los Angeles, where film and TV writers have been striking for more than two months, no deal in sight.

But outside of the Netflix building on Sunset Boulevard on Thursday, the striking writers finally got some news they wanted to hear. “Sag is going on strike!” someone called, and the crowd of picketing writers roared their approval.

Both writers and actors say that technological changes in the industry are forcing them to negotiate hard for major changes in their contracts. The new era of digital streaming has led to a dramatic decrease in how much money they make, they say. The rise of new artificial intelligence technologies is only adding to their concern.

“You really can’t make a living any more,” said actor Felicia Day, who has been working in the industry for more than two decades. Day, who showed up at the Sag-Aftra headquarters for the official announcement of the strike on this sweltering Thursday, said she gets bigger checks for television residuals for roles she played back in 2004 than she does for much more recent performances. “People are having a harder and harder time just supporting themselves and staying in the industry,” she said.

Well, looks like it’s time to take up coding. This is an industry they chose, and, like many, times change and measures will come into place that reduce the need to pay workers as much. And if they continue demanding more money, well, it means there will be fewer hired and more technology used. Just like fast food has replaced so many workers with automation and touchscreens for ordering.

As pay for individual roles declines, Day said, actors have to secure twice as much work just to make rent – even though auditioning for and obtaining roles has not become any easier. A few years ago, four to five guest star roles on television shows would be enough to get an actor through a year, she said. Now, it takes double that number of roles to make the same amount of money: “It’s a constant hustle and it’s very demoralizing,” she said.

OMG, have to work more? That’s awful! All the average citizens working 50+ hours a week 52 weeks a year feel sorry for you.

Inside Sag-Aftra’s headquarters, union president Fran Drescher made it clear that actors were fed up and fired up, saying, “We are the victims,” and telling studio executives: “You’re sitting on the wrong side of history.”

Perhaps the highly paid actors like Fran can take less money per role and give it to the low level actors.

With artificial intelligence, [Danny Hogan, actor] added, “Are you going to take my image and my voice, replicate that, and then I’m expendable?”

Yes, yes, that is what they’re going to do. Otherwise the companies are going to have to charge more for their services. And AI created characters are less temperamental and can hit their lines on the first take.

There has to be some sort of middle ground to this, but, I love these folks being primadonnas, when so many need to learn to write better stories, because Hollywood really doesn’t have many ideas these days.

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10 Responses to “Learn To Code: Hollywood Actors Join Writers Strike, Say They Can’t Make Money”

  1. Professor Hale says:

    Ah. The old “You are replacing me with a robot so I am going to become a problem employee to make your choice to replace me with a robot easy” argument. Works every time.

  2. H says:

    I am unsure of what lesson the 25,$ minimum wage taught us?
    That if we do that we will set a 70 year old record unemployment low? Or that the 749000 restaurants now open in the USA is the highest number ever?
    The average pay of a Hollywood screen writer is 70000$
    The average American does not work 50+ hours per year.
    Remember the progressive fought long and hard for the 40 hour work week.
    But under Bidens strong economy jobs are available for all. 11 million jobs are looking for workers Wages are going up faster than inflation.More legal workers (migrants) will hold down the wage increases caused by a shortage of workers that is one reason for inflation 2nd only to the increasing costs of fossil fuels.

  3. H says:

    Also under Biden. China is no longer our biggest trading partner. China has fallen to number 3 after Mexico and Canada.
    Looks like Biden is beating up on China. Wasn’t he supposed to have been bought by China?

  4. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    In most industries, there exists a natural tension between workers and capitalists.

    Capitalists want to pay labor as little as possible. Labor forms unions in an attempt to counter the power of the capitalists. BTW, most actors don’t make Cillian Murphy (Oppenheimer!) money!

    Perhaps the studio directors, producers and investors can use animation or even “deepfakes” to keep from paying actors.

    Many streaming services that also produce original content (max, Peacock, Disney+, Paramount+, Amazon Prime, Apple+, Hulu, Netflix etc) are not profitable with only Hulu and Netflix clearly in the black.

    AI can be used to replace actors AND writers, newsreaders (Max Headroom!!), columnists, bloggers, editorialists, singers, musicians and TV loudmouths.

    It’s a brave new world!

  5. CarolAnn says:

    In most industries, there exists a natural tension between workers and capitalists.

    Does not labor get paid money? Then they too are capitalists. Or are you saying labor has a “natural tension” with stockholders? If so what if the two are one in the same?

    • Elwood P. Dowd says:

      You may be confused about the meaning of “capitalist”.

      capitalist: a person who has capital especially invested in business

  6. Conservative Beaner says:

    If line workers at all the automotive manufacturers can be replaced with robots then AI can replace those WOKE SOBs.

  7. H says:

    Excellent point beaner
    Except there are more Americans working in automobile manufacturing now then in 2010

  8. Dana says:

    Given that all Hollywood seems to be capable of producing these days are superhero flicks and remakes, I’m not sure that we’ll miss the screenwriters very much.

    • Elwood P. Dowd says:

      What? Mr Dana doesn’t appreciate The Avengers Strike Back 7, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Raphael’s Secret, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Senior Surfer, Indiana Jones and the Challenge of the Walker or Jurassic Vegas Vacation?

      Our daughter talked us into watching Deadpool, knowing how much we hate superhero franchise flicks. She was right – Deadpool 1 and 2 are hilarious.

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