The WAG (Writers Guild of America) strike began in May when the writers demanded more pay and better working conditions. This would allow them to create more content we see today. Now just over 2 months later, the actors have joined forces with them for a stronger community, making this the first joint strike in the last 60 years.
When Did it Start?
The WGA strike came into place on May 1st when writers and producers failed to agree. This means that instead of the usual 22-episode season, most TV shows resorted to cutting it down to 10 episodes. Producers spend more on streaming services that allow people to watch these programs rather than giving credit to the writers.
Not only has this further affected the ongoing and upcoming productions in the company, but it has also affected the daily lives of writers. By only being entitled to the minimum wage, some writers are unable to sustain themselves for the necessities such as health insurance. This strike defends the people who are behind the scenes in the production. This protest has come to show that writers are a crucial part of any TV program or movie. They create the plotlines and loopholes which makes the viewers entertained. In that case, they should receive the same recognition as any other actor.
The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, abbreviated to SAG-AFTRA, is a labour union of over 160,000 media professionals. Rather than increase the market, their ambition is to promote equal rights for all members. Now after 8 weeks supporting the writer’s strike, the union is speaking out to protect both their rights and the rights of actors.
Beginning on the 14th of July, many of the actors have come to join this protest in support of the writers and a protest against the conditions of the actors. This has become a crucial time now more than ever for a strike like this to happen. With many former child actors speaking about their personal experiences, it’s only fair that modern-day actors receive justice too.
This all started with a speech given by Fran Drescher. Some may know her from being the main character from the 90s sitcom, The Nanny and the movie, Saturday Night Fever. However, others have now identified her as the 3rd National President of SAG-AFTRA. After giving an extremely powerful speech about how the actors’ industry has been taken for granted, she has encouraged the union to stand for what they believe in and speak against the acts of the companies.
How is AI Involved in The Strike?
There’s a funny thing about technology. It’s always changing. Always developing into something different so that it can adapt to our day-to-day lives. An example of this is AI. Whilst some people see AI as another platform to write your next cover letter or a replacement for Google, others see it as a way to listen to auto-generated covers by singers and characters. What we don’t know is that whilst AI is a fun source and a really helpful source, it doesn’t always bring something good. Now that people are becoming reliant, it’s dominated the writer’s creativity and innovation for the shows, even hindering the ideas for producers.
However, one of the most commonly known companies is the Deep Fake Company with the program being Deep Voodoo. Deep Voodoo is a system that makes any other stunt double look like any celebrity. This was in iCarly in the episode, iFaked It. Carly is the victim of a Deep Fake by her nemesis. This makes everyone believe that she is trying to cause harm with her “new products”. This program involves a similar process. Now that people have the chance to manipulate data how they please, they can use it to create false content.
For that reason, data has been manipulated and changed without the creator’s permission. This further leaves less room for everyone to contribute what they want to the table.
The Next Steps For The Strike
With these times more uncertain than ever before, these strikes have become both inevitable and justified. Both actors and writers have come together to defend their needs. Makes you realize that Hollywood is not so glamorous after all. They say we should stick to the script, but now there isn’t one.