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Another Reason Billionaires Shouldnt Exist

The rich are here to ruin another industry: Film

Yesterday I got the news that the actor's strike in the States has pushed my new job for two weeks. If you haven't heard about it yet, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has been on strike since May 6th and last night (July 13, 2023) the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) announced that they would be joining the WGA on the picket lines in dispute with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The AMPTP is, for lack of a better description, a group of rich assholes that keep green-lighting reboots and sequels and cancelling those shows you like. If the world were a movie, the AMPTP would be one of the recurring villains that can’t be killed.

Now, it will be longer than two weeks. I’ve been seeing that some people are saying the Emmys will be delayed until next year. I read the article that had CEOs admitting to “starving the writers out” and “waiting until they start losing their homes” before they agree to go back to the negotiation table. The last time both the actors and the writers struck together was in 1960, and that lasted for six months. The writers have already been on strike since early May, and are planning for the strike to last until they get their deal. They aren't talking in terms of months anymore. So now I’m thinking I won't be able to work on any shows at all this year. It’s a tough year for both the American and Canadian film industries and for Meg’s bank account.

On another, less depressing note, this is a massive moment for American labour issues, and I hope Canadians will see some of the benefits the Americans fight for. Unfortunately for Canada, we aren't exempt from the fallout. During a normal summer season, I’ve gotten accustomed to seeing 30 or more union productions happening in Vancouver alone. Currently, there are only 5 union shows filming and I was set to start on one of them. We have a handful of shows that have been renewed but have no start dates because of the strike.

This is another concern I have: once we can resume filming, the backlog of shows will make us so busy that we won't be able to handle it. The gap in filming caused a lot of members to seek out other work, full-time jobs with better hours. I have applied to go back to school to get my master's. How many people will use this as an opportunity to leave the industry? Will we have the same strength as before? I do believe that this is a historic moment in history for entertainment. Who knows what will come from this? The last writers' strike in 2007 spawned the reality TV boom because studios were forced to work without scripts. Will we watch something similar unfold? Or something unimaginable? Or maybe something out of a black mirror episode, which would be fitting for CEOs to continue stealing from their writers. I wouldn't be surprised if the rich watch Black Mirror as inspiration, rather than as a warning.

I’m not mad at the writers or the actors. I’m actually very proud of them. Two years ago when our union was negotiating our new deal I voted against the ratification. The US gets such cheap labour from Canada it's hardly fair, and I felt we were well within our rights to strike as well. But we hold fewer cards than the states. Turns out the only reason they come here is for the cheap labour and the tax credits. So we didn't strike. But I stand in solidarity with the crew south of the border. I think everyone should strike until we can eradicate the billionaires that profit off our labour while adding nothing to the world. I hope Ron Pearlman burns Bob Iger's house to the ground :)

Meg at her desk in the costume truck

Anyways, I’ve just been thinking about my life choices and everything that led to this. Thats all. Nothing more. Let me know what your opinions are on the strike to the south. Thanks for reading.


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