Although you may not see the effects of the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Actors (SAG-AFTRA) strike, they will be prominent soon since production has been halted. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) began striking in February in response to writers not getting high residual checks because of large streaming services. The WGA stated that “screen pay has declined 14% in the last five years.” SAG-AFTRA joined the strike on July 17. This is the first time in over 60 years that both writers and actors have gone on strike at the same time.
Actress Kimiko Glenn from “Orange Is the New Black” shared a video on social media of her opening a residual check for only $27.30. Glenn appeared in 44 episodes of the series, but she still only gets that small amount of money as a residual payment. Many actors need acting for their income and if the main characters are getting that small amount of money, small characters and extras are also getting paid an extremely small amount.
Actor Sean Gunn, who played the iconic character Kirk on “Gilmore Girls,” was out protesting on the picket line. Gunn explained “I was on a television show called Gilmore Girls for a long time that has brought in massive profits for Netflix. It has been one of their most popular shows for a very long time, over a decade. It gets streamed over and over and over again, and I see almost none of the revenue that comes into that.” He is referring to how Netflix takes away money that used to be given to actors and writers. Other streaming services and companies in the industry that have been criticized are Warner Bros. Discovery, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Sony, Amazon, Apple and Disney.
This strike has already taken a noticeable toll on live television. For example, “Saturday Night Live (SNL)” stopped airing live on May 2 because the writers of the show went on strike. Many other late-night television shows, such as “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” have had similar fates.
It is becoming apparent how the strike will greatly influence television and movie production. The film adaptation of Colleen Hoover’s “It Ends With Us,” has had its production stopped and will not continue to film until the strike has been resolved. The writing for season three of the television show “White Lotus,” which is set to take place in Thailand, had to be paused because the writers went on strike. The cast of the television show “Abbott Elementary,” is standing strongly with strikers and will not return to work until the strike is over. The live adaptation of Disney’s “Lilo and Stitch” and the fifth season of “Stranger Things” have both been delayed by the strike.
Soon fans will see the effects of the strike when television shows and movies began being released sparsely. Although the strike may cause many delays in the entertainment industry, it is important to stand with the writers so they can get the pay they deserve for their important work in the industry.