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Why Hollywood Actors and Screenwriters Are on Strike

Wednesday– Hollywood actors and writers are on strike all over the country in hopes of better pay, better contracts, and seeking protection against AI. 

Why the Strikes Are Happening 

Writers and actors in the entertainment industry are furious with their current treatment in the business. SAG-AFTRA, a union representing over 160,000 actors in California, failed to reach an agreement with studios in Hollywood.

Union president Fran Drescher voiced his opinion claiming that not all the actors we see on TV or in the movies are making millions; a large majority of the actors on screen are struggling to make ends meet with how little they get paid.

Strikes began in California but have stretched throughout the entire country. Actors are seeking better pay and reconsideration for residuals. Residuals are actors paid out from a show that can be replayed in the future and still gain revenue.

Plenty of residuals have been paid out, and shows, later on, have had great success, but none of the revenue is going to the actors.

According to SAG-AFTRA, only 12.7% of the actors in the union qualify for health care benefits. To receive those benefits, actors must make a minimum of $26,000. The average salary in the US in 2020 was $42,000. Most actors cannot maintain a suitable lifestyle due to their spontaneous acting schedule and lack of consistent work days. 

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence
Actors and writers alike are also furious with the rise of AI and its reign over the industry. Many corporations are copying faces and using them in movies and shows but not crediting the actors with compensation. Writers are also enraged by the rise of AI and its scriptwriting capabilities.

SAG actors have not been on strike since the 1980s. During this strike, actors have stated that they will not appear in movies or make any sort of promotion. Actors like Tom Cruise, Jason Sudeikis, and Susan Sarandon are just a few of the big-name actors in support of the thousands of other actors and screenwriters.


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