Hot Take: It’s Time to End The SAG-AFTRA Strike

To keep this article relatively concise, I think many agree that the SAG-AFTRA Strike of 2023 needs to end.

The strike was initiated on July 14th, 2023, due to writers and actors becoming frustrated with studio policy over residuals from streaming services and artificial intelligence’s inevitable (yet controversial) involvement in the Hollywood realm. While the writers’ strike finally ended before September, the actors’ one still needs a resolution. Both strikes have been some of the most prominent interventions since the COVID pandemic, tearing down multiplexes for several months and bribing studio executives to utilize the streaming services route to compensate for losses.

Maybe this argument is vehemently for the better of settling the disputes, but it’s much more than that. For instance, Lucasfilm had to shut down its Singapore operations, affecting hundreds of people. Deadline reported that the hotly-anticipated Deadpool 3, which includes the return of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, will be taken off its May release date in 2024. And a cornucopia of films/TV productions have had their productions suspended or are operating without the involvement of any actors. Some popular films of 2024 that are affected include Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Mortal Kombat 2, Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, and many others.

On top of these issues, the integration of artificial intelligence will collapse further on the ability for actors to be fairly compensated in these environments, particularly if they aren’t proven movie star draws like a Will Smith, Tom Cruise, or Margot Robbie. Plus, the duration of the strikes will cost studios millions of dollars to replace all the lost time and measures that would’ve kept them on track for their release dates, and actors will be left without any financial assistance while these discussions are still held out.

No marketing also means lost potential chances of revenue; ask Marvel Studios, whose marketing for The Marvels (while likely possible to be on the lower projections due to oversaturation of the superhero IP) feels like an afterthought, and Warner Brothers, who can’t afford to miss once more with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom after going 0-3 this year.

It is best to end this and reach a suitable agreement regarding the value of entertainment and actors’ ability to continue doing what they strive for audiences on the big screen.

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