Writers and Actors on Strike 

Writers and actors demonstrate to let people know they are on strike.

Are you waiting for a particular movie? Or the next season of a new TV show? You might have to wait a little bit longer than you thought. The writers and actors that make television and movies are on strike. This means they have all agreed not to work until their concerns are met. 

The Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild are unions for writers and actors. Unions are organizations of employees in an industry that group together to maintain or improve their work conditions. The unions have two concerns that are driving their strike. They are how people should be paid for being on streaming services, and what to do about Artificial Intelligence (AI) in movies and television. 

Television and movies have changed a lot in the past decade. TV programs and movies can now be streamed to people’s homes through services such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. Writers had agreements for minimum payments for broadcast TV. They do not have these for streaming. Some actors and writers also were paid based on how many people watched their programs. Streaming services are not sharing information on how many people watch their shows. So, actors and writers are losing part of their income. 

AI is another large concern for writers and actors. Writers want assurances that AI will only be used for research or to help with script ideas. They do not want AI tools to replace them altogether. Actors also worry about AI. They want it to be clear they own their own image. They worry AI could be used to generate images of them to star in TV and movies, without them being paid fairly for that image or agreeing to its use. 

The unions are negotiating with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. This is a group of motion picture studios, television networks, and film production companies. They pay actors, writers, and directors to make their programs. They have offered to raise the minimum that writers and actors are paid. They have refused to put limits on what AI can do. They have agreed to have yearly discussions about its effects on the industry. This is not enough for the writers and actors to stop their strike.  

The entertainment industry is changing rapidly. People that work in it are trying to make sure they are treated fairly. 

What Do You Think? How do you try to make things fair in your life? What do you do when you think things are not fair? 

Photo Credit: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/ZUMA Press, Inc./Alamy Stock Photo