Why are Hollywood writers and actors on strike?

Source: The post is based on the articleWhy are Hollywood writers and actors on strike?  published in The Hindu on 18th July 2023

What is the News?

Hollywood actors joined the ongoing strike of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) after their contract negotiations with studios broke down. 

This is Hollywood’s biggest labour fight in six decades and marks the first dual strike of both writers and actors since 1960.

Why are Hollywood writers and actors protesting?

Pay issues: The profits of the entertainment industry have increased from $5 billion in 2000 to a whopping $30 billion in 2019.

– But the average pay of the writer-producer position has gone down by 4% over the past decade. Adjusted for inflation, this is a 23% decline.

Use of Artificial Intelligence(AI): AI has emerged as a crucial area where actors and writers want production houses to limit the use of AI so their professions are not endangered in the near future. 

– Writers are demanding that AI not be used to create new and unpaid content from their original work and their scripts not be used to train AI like language learning models. 

– As for the actors, they do not want studios to use their AI-created likeness or performances without their consent or without compensation.

What is the economic impact of this strike?

The strike does not just affect its participants but a large number of those employed in production related jobs and tertiary industries such as costume, catering, lighting, for hire location providers, and so on. 

The last writers’ strike in 2007 which lasted 100 days cost $2.1 billion to California’s economy alone.

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