In Los Angeles and New York right now, thousands of film and television actors joined writers on the picket lines Friday, the first time that both the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America have been on strike simultaneously since 1960.

Thousands of television and film writers who are part of the Writers Guild of America are in the middle of a historic strike. They’re forming picket lines in front of studios, and productions in New York and Los Angeles and shutting down active sets. They are striking for better residuals and rights against the looming threat of AI, among other concerns. At the core of this dispute is streaming and how it’s revolutionized the industry. I actually talked about this a few months ago and it seems the industry has begun to feel the looming threat of AI. However, there’s more to it than the threat of AI. Companies like Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV+, and more have given consumers an unprecedented array of films and TV shows and opened the door to new voices that don’t have to adhere to mainstream network formats. On the other hand, streaming has also changed how television gets produced, the role writers play, and how they get paid. Writers have always endured indignities in Hollywood, only tolerating it if the pay is good. Now, the pay is no longer good and they have begun to speak out on it.

Things have been getting worse for writers, as these studios are making cuts that are impacting the income of writers, making it harder to live on a sustainable income. When your hours are drastically cut, unstable, and with too many uncertainties it’s understandable that they’d be upset. Right now, the impact can be seen across Hollywood, with films such as Deadpool 3, Gladiators, and more being put on hold, so it will be interesting to see how this will end. The last time they had a strike like this was 15 years ago which lasted for around 100 days and it was successful, however, times have certainly changed, and with AI getting smarter, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hollywood makes the corporate choice in reducing its dependency on writers going forward. This could be devasting to writers across the globe, not just in America. There’s some saving grace to this as actors have now joined the strike, a first of its kind, lending their status to the mix. If it plays out well, the writers could secure themselves a future as these studios and corporation will likely have to budge to their demands. You can’t have a film without actors.

It’s too soon to tell how this will all play out, however, if you ask me, I feel that writers may consider strongly on alternative career paths. If these corporations are as greedy as we know them to be, then they are already heavily investing in AI in hopes to replace writers in the future.

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