Hollywood feed: Will Netflix replace workers with AI after the strike?
Are Hollywood’s brightest stars ready to hit the picket lines? More than three hundred of Tinseltown’s finest, including some of the biggest names in the industry, are rallying together, imploring the SAG-AFTRA leadership to be unwavering in their ongoing negotiations for a new film and TV contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
Let’s take a look at the Hollywood feed and see if the feed is anything to write home about with regards to any kind of solution.
Ready to Rise
“Nobody wants a strike,” reads the impassioned plea addressed to SAG-AFTRA’s decision-makers, “but we’re willing to walk if it comes to that. We’re worried about the possibility of our fellow members being ready to compromise in ways that the leadership isn’t.” Notable signatories of this urgent call to action include heavyweights like Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, and Rami Malek.
This rallying cry comes in what could be the last week of discussions before the current contract’s expiration on June 30. It arrives on the heels of SAG-AFTRA’s heads reassuring their members that their talks with AMPTP have been “extraordinarily fruitful,” maintaining a hopeful attitude that a fair agreement can be achieved.
The letter continues, urging that “This is not a moment for meeting halfway. History is watching us all. We need you to champion the changes and safeguards we require, and to make history doing it.”
The actors implore the leadership to stand firm on critical issues that impact their livelihood, such as their wages, craft, creative freedom, and the power of their union. They argue these aspects have been undermined over the past decade, and a reversal is crucial.
Also, they express concerns over the casting process’s dignity and the use of self-tapes. They mention this as a considerable issue for working-class actors and demand better regulation.
The guild is asked to commit fully to protecting not only their images but also ensure they are adequately compensated when their work is used to train artificial intelligence (AI). The stars assert their willingness to strike rather than accept compromises on these essential points.
In an unexpected show of unity, the two main political factions of SAG-AFTRA have put forth a united front to back the re-election of the guild’s president Fran Drescher and secretary-treasurer Joely Fisher. Drescher was elected at the helm of the ruling Unite for Strength ticket, while Fisher found victory with the MembershipFirst slate.
This display of unity followed a unanimous vote from the guild’s board to recommend a strike-authorization vote, endorsed by a whopping 98% of the membership. SAG-AFTRA is currently heading into what could be the final week of its negotiations for a new film and TV contract, with the current contract set to expire Friday at midnight PT.
As the countdown to the expiration of the current contract ensues, one can’t help but wonder, will this band of star-studded rebels change the course of Hollywood’s labor history? And ultimately, will this rallying cry prove to be the game-changer they so passionately believe it to be? The current Hollywood feed seems to hint at quite a bitter fight.