Hollywood writers may be headed back to work after its union struck a new deal with the big media studios, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t already been a toll taken among those working in the industry.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor noted in its monthly employment report that the motion picture and sound recording industries lost another 7,000 jobs in September. In total, the entertainment business has lost 45,000 jobs since the Writers Guild of America strikes began in May.
It’s a staggering number that reflects the impact that these work stoppages, from the writers to the actors who joined them on the picket lines in July. Both strikes are a result of the massive shift of the industry towards streaming, which required a new way of calculating how writers and actors need to be compensated because it differed so greatly from the traditional broadcast model.
While the writers strike has ended, the SAG-AFTRA strike continues, although representatives from the union met with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers — which represents studios like Disney, Netflix and Warner Bros. Discovery — earlier this week, marking the first time they resumed talks since July.
As with the writers, the actors are seeking better compensation, especially on the minimum levels, and more transparency about how successful a show is on streaming. They’re also seeking protections from the use of artificial intelligence. Many of the asks are similar to the ones the writers sought, giving some hope that this second deal might be reached as well.