The Hollywood strike enters its second week; no resolution in sight

LOS ANGELES — The combined strike by Hollywood actors and screenwriters is entering its second week with no signs of a quick resolution to the dispute.

For a week, actors like Tina Fey, Kevin Bacon and his wife Kyra Sedgwick, Rosario Dawson, David Duchovny and other stars joined screenwriters on picket lines outside the studios and offices of streaming giants in online Amazon, MAX and Netflix .

The regular appearance of the actors on the picket lines helped to shine a spotlight on issues critical to both groups: better pay and the preservation of established practices like residual payments, as well as protection against the use of artificial intelligence. About 65,000 actors – the vast majority of whom do not earn enough to qualify for health benefits through their guild – as well as 11,500 screenwriters, are on strike.

Although many of the pickets are in Los Angeles and New York, film and television production takes place across the country. Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago were among the top cities with strike events on Wednesday and Thursday.

On Friday, actors from London held an event in solidarity with their colleagues from the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). Stars such as Brian Cox, Andy Serkis, Hayley Atwell, Simon Pegg and Imelda Staunton gathered with other artists and production teams in Leicester Square for the protest organized by British actors’ union Equity.

“Wages are one thing, but the worst part is the whole idea of ​​(artificial intelligence) and what AI can do to us,” said Brian Cox, who played media mogul Logan Roy in “ Succession”.

“AI is the really, really serious thing. And that’s the thing where we’re most vulnerable.”

Cox said it was important for the cast to show solidarity with the striking Writers Guild of America screenwriters.

“We are like furniture without scriptwriters,” he argued.

No resolution in sight

There is no indication when negotiations with studios and online listening companies, which are represented by the Alliance of Film and Television Producers, will resume. The group said it offered the writers and actors substantial pay raises and attempted to meet other demands.

“Please come back to the table, be realistic, please have a little more socialism in your heart and think about the people making money for you,” the star of ” Mission: Impossible,” Simon Pegg, to studios and online listening services.

At an event on Wednesday, Netflix co-head Ted Sarandos said he grew up in a unionized household, adding he knew the strike was painful for workers and their families.

“We are very determined to reach an agreement as soon as possible. One that is fair and empowers unions, industry and everyone in it to move forward into the future,” he said.

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