The WGA and SAG-AFTRA Strike Will Benefit All Creatives
The writers and actors striking together will end up being the best thing to happen to creative professionals in a long time. It might even benefit every worker in the country. Labor has been exploited and pushed to the brink by capital, and these two visible and powerful unions are fighting back.
The major studios, collectively, are trying to steal from those who create art, at the worst, and at best they’re actively trying to exploit them. Both the best and worst case scenarios are bad, so withholding labor is what both unions have been forced to do.
Studio executives who make tens or hundreds of millions of dollars per year will play the victim, but don’t be fooled. They’re out to steal the livelihood from so many working creatives it’s obvious who’s being victimized here. Disney, Netflix, and that ridiculous WB conglomerated mishmash are the villains, to name but a few, so don’t let them fool you about it. I’m sure their spin doctors are going to be hitting the cable news shows any time now to control the narrative. Don’t fall for it.
I won’t get into too many details here, because there are far better writers and journalists already doing that work. But I’ll go over two big points because we need to talk about this — AI and streaming.
First, the villains want to get artists out of the picture by using AI without compensation. Sure, they’ll pay you once while they scan your likeness or work, but then they want to use that forever in whatever ways they want without notice or compensation. Absolutely unacceptable. Imagine if you sold one copy of an ebook on Amazon KDP for $0.99, got your $0.35 or so royalty, and then that’s it, no matter how many of your books sold — Amazon would keep the rest. Seems fair to you, right? That’s what the big studios are trying to get away with (except on a much larger scale) and frame it as a good deal. Bullshit.
Also vital is to get streaming service residuals straightened out and in line with all the other forms of distribution. If I’m understanding the process correctly and as it currently works, a streamer like Netflix pays a lump sum for a license period and a portion of that goes to the talent once. It doesn’t…