impacts, renewed support and overall threat to the movie industry

The impact of the actors’ strike in Hollywood is palpable. Film celebrations and film publicity are devoid of their major celebrities and the industry is at risk of global paralysis. However, whatever its repercussions, the social movement enjoys increased support given its demands.

The 49th edition of the Deauville festival dedicated to American cinema must take place this year without its usual stars. This is due to the decision of some American actors integrated into SAG-AFTRA to join the writers on strike since July 14, 2023, putting a brake on the promotion of their films among others. Despite this, we note the presence of some actors such as Adam Driver who attend these festivals thanks to special permissions (“interim agreement”) which guarantee that the production of their films will comply with the future agreement that will be signed between SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Film and Television Producers. This gives the union a significant advantage in their dispute with studios, including streaming platforms.

Adam Driver echoed this situation during the press conference for his latest film, Ferrari by Michael Mann, presented at the 80th edition of the Venice Film Festival which is also suffering the effects of the strike. The actor questioned why a small distribution company like Neon can meet union demands while giants like Netflix or Amazon cannot. The waiver he received makes it clear that some support the people they work with while others do not. Adam Driver says he is “happy” and “proud” to be at the Mostra to defend his film.

The strike significantly affects Hollywood and by extension global film production. It generated a positive reaction in the sector from the start of the movement. Here is an overview of its implications and the responses it has elicited in various areas of the film industry, in France and elsewhere.

Removing stars from red carpets

The decision by the actors of Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Oppenheimer, not to attend the London premiere marked the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike. As a result, the event was deprived of a star-studded presence on the red carpet, a direct consequence noticeable at many festivals in recent weeks. This resulted in the cancellation of the opening film screening and disrupted the awards show. The actors expected to defend the selected films were also absent. From Locarno to Deauville, via Venice, the organizers’ plans have been turned upside down, although their support remains intact, as they all mentioned in their various statements announcing the withdrawal of their guests. The Deauville festival even planned a debate on the strike in Hollywood.

Postponement of calendars

The SAG-AFTRA strike has caused disruption to new project start-ups and production schedules already affected by the writers’ movement since May. Actors such as Brad Pitt and Viola Davis have both suspended their projects in solidarity with the strike.

In France, for example, according to comedian Joachim Salinger, a member of the national office of the Syndicat des artistes performers (SFA), the direct effects of the strike are quite limited for the moment because it mainly concerns promotional activities and new projects. .

International solidarity of actors

On July 31, the CGT Spectacle Federation and its unions expressed their full support for their American counterparts and colleagues involved in this historic strike. Their support was also expressed by ACTRA, Canada, and other international actors.

Claims and pioneer fight

Since the start of the strike, the SAG-AFTRA union, represented by its president Fran Drescher, has highlighted the importance of its fight. According to her, if there are major advances in wages, revenue sharing and protection against the risks associated with artificial intelligence, it will be difficult for those companies that have signed agreements with SAG-AFTRA to refuse to conclude equivalent agreements in other countries due to the globalization of the market.

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