You may have seen the performers union, the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) are on strike. Their decision to end negotiations came shortly after the Writers Guild of America decided to go on strike. So essentially all ‘Hollywood’ creators are currently on strike.
SAG doesn’t have a great rapport with conservative America. In 2021 they voted, ridiculously, to ban President Trump from the organization for life. This was a hilariously hollow action considering he is still legally entitled to his SAG-AFTRA pension which he has drawn from ever since their petty little vote.
Further, SAG is stocked full of celebrities who have made it quite clear that they do not care about average Americans, they think we’re all terrible monsters and they will, with very little education or push back, do everything they can to destroy our lives. Plenty of celebrities not only vote for democrats, but are wild progressive activists who make bombastic and incendiary accusations and comments about conservatives and do everything in their power to stop conservative voices from having a fair shake in media including films and television.
So when SAG goes to strike, it’s natural that conservatives think they’re a bunch of empty headed blowhards and to dismiss the strike outright.
But, as painful as it might be, the SAG-AFTRA (and WGA) strike might just have merit and conservative should consider it. Keep in mind, the big studios are also allowed to collectively bargain and they do so through the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
What are the core perspectives of the SAG-AFTRA and WGA?
- Their salary hasn’t kept up with inflation
- Artificial intelligence is being used inappropriately including to infringe on copyright for new content
- Residual deals should be reworked in the wake of streaming services
What are the core perspectives of the studios?
- They are unwilling to make promises about how AI will be used because they don’t want to limit the potential of the technology
- But they did propose some parameters
- The proposal to include residuals on streaming was a non-starter for the studios because they do not believe that revenue share makes sense for the overall business model
- The studios felt their wage and benefit increase offers were sufficient
The full negotiation list with the SAG-AFTRA position and the Studio response can be reviewed here. Blue writing is the studios’ response.
Keeping in mind that most members of SAG-AFTRA are not millionaire celebrities, the core issues of SAG-AFTRA seem sort of familiar. Out in the real world, issues relating to inflation and AI are abounding across all industries. There are places where AI can be beneficial but places where it may replace jobs at a faster rate than workers can be retrained.
Additionally, with all we have learned about studio executives in the last few years, do we really think that the people at, for example, Disney aren’t capable of being unfair to their production partners? As Disney eats failure sandwich after failure sandwich and doesn’t seem to hold any of its executives accountable, is it so curious to us that they might not be conducting their business as transparently and fairly as they could be?
At the end of the day, neither SAG-AFTRA nor AMPTP are allies to conservatives. But since they’re both allowed to collectively bargain, it’s not a typical story of a government backed union giant versus a healthy American employer. Looking at the issues, and looking at what these studios have been capable of from Harvey Weinstein to media collusion (probably…it’s very suspicious) to tank Sound of Freedom, I’m inclined to see SAG/WAG’s side of things.
But mostly let’s watch the liberals fight each other. [pops popcorn]