The Hollywood actors’ strike threatens US and international film and TV productions

Hollywood Actors’ Strike Threatens Global Film Production

The ongoing strike by American screen actors is not only impacting the US film industry but also production in the UK and Europe. Well-known shows like The White Lotus, The Last of Us, and Emily in Paris will not be returning for new seasons, and films like the screen adaptation of Wicked, starring Ariana Grande, will not be hitting local cinemas as scheduled. Even the filming of Gladiator 2 in Morocco is likely to be put on hold indefinitely. The frustration expressed by fans worldwide regarding this strike has far surpassed the reactions to the previous writers’ strike.

Negotiations in Los Angeles broke down on Thursday, leading to a battle over streaming services driving down pay and using artificial intelligence (AI) in production. The Hollywood dispute has gained significant international attention due to the visibility of actors like George Clooney, Margot Robbie, and Brian Cox publicly supporting the strike. Productions involving American talent have already been halted in many countries, and now they are expected to come to a near standstill. The actors are prepared for a long fight for their income.

Actress Susan Sarandon has voiced her support, highlighting the need to address issues surrounding streaming and AI in the industry. A protest in London occurred last week when stars from Christopher Nolan’s new film, Oppenheimer, walked out of the premiere. The actors had the backing of Nolan, who believes the time is right for action. The impact of the strike could also affect festivals like the Toronto International Film Festival and the upcoming Venice festival, as well as events like San Diego’s Comic-Con, which may be held without celebrity appearances.

The strike involves over 160,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (Sag-Aftra), who have joined the 11,500 members of the Writers Guild of America in the largest strike in 60 years. Both writers and actors are negotiating with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers over residuals – the payments made when a show or film is repeated. Streaming services like Netflix pay significantly less in residuals than traditional broadcast television.

The strike is causing concern for production companies in countries with booming film economies, such as the UK, Ireland, Greece, and Canada. With American writers and actors involved in many productions in these countries, an unprecedented slowdown is anticipated. The British creative industries union, Bectu, has warned that a “perfect storm” is brewing for freelancers and expects many productions to be put on hold.

While the writers’ strike has already impacted location filming in various countries, it is the actors’ solidarity that is significantly halting productions. This autumn and winter, viewers can expect a decrease in scripted entertainment with fewer stars and stories to enjoy. The film production industry in the UK employs around 100,000 people and was valued at £12.9 billion before the pandemic, meaning many are now unemployed overnight. The strike continues to have a far-reaching impact on the entertainment industry.