Saturday, April 20, 2024

Hollywood Horror: Studios Force Actors, Writers to Strike, Everything Coming to a Halt for a While


Unless there’s a miracle today, Hollywood is coming to halt. It’s a horror story worse than anything on the screen.

“SAG-AFTRA’s negotiating committee voted unanimously to recommend to the National Board a strike of the Producers-SAG-AFTRA TV/Theatrical/Streaming Contracts which expired July 12, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. PT. SAG-AFTRA’s National Board will vote Thursday morning on whether to strike.”

That’s the word from the union via their social media, around 1am Los Angeles time.

The combination of the actors’ and writers’ unions striking is unprecedented in recent decades. The last time it happened was in the 1950s.

So what will happen? If the actors vote to strike, all production comes to a standstill. There will be no fall TV season. Other shows that don’t adhere to the fall drop will also stop. Because of the writer’s steike, there won’t be any late night talk shows. Already there are no talk shows except “The View” and “Live with Kelly and Mark” because they’re just winging it.

As for the talk shows, no actors can promote work on them anyway with a strike vote. There will be waves of trouble as publicists, crew members in art, design, and production are all put out of work. In Los Angeles, the city will suffer from no production but also from people not eating out in restaurants or using other businesses. It will look a lot like the pandemic lockdown. Even the Kardashians may have to learn how to cook.

And even if negotiations resume, it’s likely nothing will happen until Labor Day, ironically. And that doesn’t include the Writers Guild. Now the greedy studios will have to bring the whole mess to a resolution because just getting the actors back still leaves the issue of no screenplays, etc.

The studios’ biggest mistake? Planting a story two days ago saying the studio chiefs would hold out until the writers were homeless. They thought that would scare SAG into wrapping this up. It was a miscalculated threat and just strengthened the resolve of the unions.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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