- President Biden voices robust support for Hollywood actors' and writers' strikes, underlining his commitment to fair labor compensation.
- The strikes, demanding improved wages, working conditions, and transparency from streaming services, threaten to halt Hollywood's operations.
- Despite opposition from studio executives, the movement has garnered support from prominent Democratic lawmakers advocating for fair labor practices.
Joining the list of esteemed supporters for Hollywood's actors' strike is none other than President Joe Biden. Holding a firm belief in equitable recompense and benefits for all workers, Biden extends his unequivocal support to actors and their right to strike, said Robyn Patterson, the White House spokesperson, this past Friday. The White House's backing comes at a time when the nation anticipates a potential strike from UPS workers and grapples with complex negotiations between auto workers and giants like Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis.
The president's stance didn't emerge from a vacuum. He previously supported the striking members of the Writers Guild of America when the proverbial pens of Hollywood decided to take a stand in May. His support now extends to the actors as they brace for potential strike action, effectively bringing Hollywood to a standstill. This follows the unsuccessful negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, prompting the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists to call a strike.
Hollywood's actors and writers are leading this unified front, demanding better pay, improved working conditions, and increased health and pension benefits. They're also campaigning for stronger regulations around the use of artificial intelligence in future projects. In a move to balance the scales, they're pushing for transparency from streaming services regarding viewership figures so they can receive residual payments commensurate with linear TV.
Parallel to the actors, writers are advocating for heightened compensation and residuals, primarily for streaming shows. They're rallying for new rules requiring studios to allocate a specific number of writers for a stipulated time to television shows. Furthermore, they seek pay during all stages of production - from pre to post. The common concern amongst both unions is the growing use of artificial intelligence in scriptwriting, an area where human talent and creativity have traditionally reigned supreme.
On the flip side, studio executives and their ilk are resisting these demands. Disney's CEO, Bob Iger, went on record this week, stating the expectations of the actors and writers to be “unrealistic.” Despite this opposition, several Democratic lawmakers from California, including U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla and U.S. Reps. Barbara Lee and Adam Schiff, have voiced their support for the two strikes, advocating for fair labor compensation.
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