Stars like Seth Rogen are backing a strike that could bring Hollywood to a halt. Here’s why.

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Well, entertainment junkies, be ready to go back.

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When COVID-19 helped us develop a new appreciation for – if not outright reliance – Small- And big screen entertainmentAn industry strike may result in a grinding halt to production.

Unionized workers in charge of rigging lights, making hair, making sets and all other non-acting related work voted on Monday to authorize the strike. Leaders of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees say they are in a better position to work on the issue.


IATSE can use authorization to bring the Manufacturers Association back to the negotiating table. IATSE leaders announced that nearly 90% of the members voted, and 98% of them approved the strike.

There may be more conversations in the works. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers stated in the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, “A deal can be done at the bargaining table, but it requires both parties to work together with a willingness to compromise and open issues.” New solutions will need to be found to solve that.” Statement given to USA Today after the strike authorization.

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Crew union members have been vocal on social media about the need for producers to pay more attention to the lives of those working behind the scenes.

“How do I make a family work 12+ hours a day (even more when you add commuting)?” will be written striker Kirsten Thorsson on Instagram. “I love my job in the film industry but the industry doesn’t love me back.”

There are signs that some showrunners and directors are already heeding the crew’s complaints.

on instagram account IATSE Stories, where members can post comments anonymously, an individual it is written that “The directors of the show I’m on follow this page and after reading how the crew is treated, we’ve made it a point to wrap up before we hit 10 hours everyday, here Not even 12.”

Top actors had come out in support of the strike in previous weeks, knowing that their work would not be done without the armies behind them. And most are part of their own association, the Screen Guild Actors themselves.

“I spent 9 months working with an incredibly hard working crew of filmmakers in very challenging conditions,” says Ben Stiller wrote on twitter. “Full support them in fighting for better conditions.”

But supporting the Hollywood crew doesn’t mean all production will stop. First, there are many union contracts that are still in effect for another year, such as one covering pay services like HBO.

Contracts that expired several months earlier and this led to a negotiating stalemate such as Netflix, which were issued more lenient terms, because the future of such services was not known back when ink IATSE’s New Media Agreement. As of 2009 the drought focused in part on streaming services.

And second, a shutdown may still be avoided, given what is at stake for producers and workers alike, said Thomas Lenz, an assistant lecturer at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law and Pasadena-based Atkinson, Andelson, says Loya, Rudd’s partner. and Romo.

“The ‘yes’ vote of union members puts them in a good bargaining position, something they can deploy if needed,” says Lenz. “Manufacturers really don’t want disruption to the product they put out, and workers don’t want to go long periods without pay. They can end up back at the bargaining table.”

We break the plot:

Q: Which workers are ready to move?

A: For months, the production workers union has been trying to negotiate a new three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers for its 150,000 employees. These include cinematographers, costumers, script supervisors, and grips—essentially, the important people who let the stars shine. The union has never gone on strike before. If it happens this time, the 60,000 members who are currently employed are expected to stop working.

The parties have been talking for a long time. The current contract was due to expire on July 31, but as negotiations progressed, it was extended to September 10. Negotiations then continued for a new three-year deal, which eventually led to this tense moment.

Lenz says the pandemic’s impact on work/life balance is also a factor. “If you are regularly working 10- and 12-hour days, the pandemic may now prompt you to reevaluate your entire lifestyle and decide whether you want to work the way you did in the past. I did,” he says.

Question: What does the union want?

A: IATSE wants better working conditions and salaries, while AMPTP feels the demands are too tough financially for an industry that is still battling the pandemic. A letter written by IATSE President Matthew Loeb said it aimed “to have more humane working conditions in the industry, including reasonable rest during workdays and on weekends, equal pay on streaming productions and a livable pay floor.” ” Under the current IATSE New Media deal, for example, streaming services with less than 20 million subscribers pay less. Also on the table: Making Martin Luther King Jr. Day a holiday for union workers.

“Employers, like the Manufacturers Guild here, go into things looking at everything as a cost item,” Lenz says. “But now times are a little different. Look at all the social justice protests over the past year and something like giving people an MLK Day Off makes sense. Most employers are waking up to it.”

Many pay TV programs will not be affected by the production-side workers' strike, as contracts between producers and unions vary depending on the type of content.  HBO

Q: Which productions will suffer?

A: Movies, network TV shows and Netflix productions will stop because they are covered under a now-expired contract. That means any television series or reality show currently in production could give fans repeat episodes later this year or early next year.

But many popular premium-cable productions — and so-called low-budget theatrical fare — won’t be stopped because this union contract is good until the end of 2022. Ads are also safe. IATSE’s agreement with the Association of Independent Commercial Producers runs till September 30, 2022.

“If you are working on commercials or for HBO, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax, BET or any other company whose contract is still in effect – you should keep working,” IATSE said on productions for those companies. Informed members. “You won’t be a scab!”

Q: What do Hollywood stars think?

A: Potential strikers have support on social media. Seth Rogen tweeted“Our movies and movies really wouldn’t exist without our crew, and our crew deserves better.” “Grace and Frankie” co-stars Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda share a photo of themselves on Instagram With raised fists while wearing the Union T-shirt. Bradley Whitford tweeted The negotiators for the AMPTP “refuse to even discuss guaranteed meal breaks or a 10-hour turnaround. That’s crazy. If you make a living in front of a camera, it’s time to speak up for the people who make it possible.” make.”

Question: Is this a new controversy?

A: Consider this another episode in a long-running series. In 1945, 10,500 members of the Confederation of Studio Unions went on strike, leading to the David O. Production of the Selznick epic “Duel in the Sun” ceased. Months went by without resolution, culminating in a riot in front of the Warner Bros. Most recently, the Writers Guild of America hit for a sizable percentage of the show’s profits in late 2007. The 14-week standoff brought production to TV and films to a halt. Following its proposal, economists estimated that the strike caused more than $1 billion in damage to the Los Angeles economy.

In this 2007 file photo, members of the Writers Guild of America strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers at a rally at Fox Plaza in the Century City district of Los Angeles.

Question: What happens now?

Answer: Now that IATSE may call for a strike and call off many presentations, talks are likely to start afresh. There is an economic incentive to make a deal. a recent report The Motion Picture Association of America using the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2016 indicated that the film and TV industry creates more than 2 million high-paying jobs which in turn funnels approximately $50 billion annually to businesses wherever Content is being created.

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