The 100-day Writers Guild of American (WGA) strike that took place early this year was pretty interesting. However, many people in the United States were left frustrated due to their favorite shows ending as earlier than expected. I myself was frustrated because season 2 of “Heroes” was cut short.
One could say I was very ticked off because of it. I had waited months for the airing of season 2. I along with many others have to wait until September, which is when season 3 will be airing. On a more serious note, California had lost at least $2 billion in the process. Almost 30,000 jobs were lost in the prospect.
The WGA strike was supported by actors, directors, and producers. This strike even had an influence on both the GOP and Democratic primary races early in the year. Former Arkansas Governor and former GOP hopeful Mike Huckabee was called a “scab” for crossing the picket line to appear on a talk show. However, talk show host David Letterman managed to secure a deal with the WGA.
Now, Hollywood faces another strike. Instead of the writers, it is the actors that will be striking. Since April, studios have not started to produce any major films because of the possibility of an impending strike. Hollywood is working on the double to prepare for this actors’ strike.
The WGA strike was sparked by the issue of residuals over DVD and new-media. Guess what? The actors are now striking on the same issue. This strike could be more devastating that the WGA strike.
The answer to the question is that the actors have representation from two unions. These two unions have had tensions with each other for the longest time. And, they still do. The escalated clash is what will probably cause this potential actors’ strike.
These groups are the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Televison and Radio Artists (AFTRA). Both groups are in contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion and Picture Television Producers (AMPTP). While AFTRA has reached an agreement, SAG is another story. The SAG contract with AMPTP expires at the end of this month. So far, a deal has not been reached yet.
According to SAG, actors and actresses will be affected. Doug Allen, national executive director of SAG said: “The notion that the [Directors Guild of America], [Writers Guild of America] and SAG should all get the same deal is not fair. What’s good for directors is not necessarily good for actors.”
SAG and AFTRA really got into it due to allegations of the former trying to snatch actors from “The Bold and the Beautiful.” The soap opera is part of AFTRA. In short, this is a battle of contracts.
In short, there is an internal battle with the actors and actresses of Hollywood as SAG tries to defeat AFTRA’s contract vote. Actor James Cromwell and Actress Sandra Oh have clashed in the matter. Cromwell is calling forth for AFTRA members to support the contract. Oh is calling forth members of both unions to do away with it.
As a result, the film companies are pushing back production dates. Of course it will affect the movies. But, it will be more devastating to TV shows.
There is one thing we need to be prepared for in case of a strike, more reality TV shows. In a nutshell, there is an internal struggle within Hollywood. One should prepare for another Hollywood strike.