The current strikes by the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA are hitting tens of thousands of Southern California families HARD. Whatever you think about organized labor, these strikes are important, as they fight against precedent-setting moves by the studios that affect not just your favorite celebrities, but also the many workers who make content possible. This includes not just the members of these two venerable unions, but the crew members who have nothing to crew, the craft service companies who have no one to feed, the local businesses whose customers can’t afford goods and services until they get paid again. The outcomes will also influence every creative industry going forward. The studios are trying to reset the norm of how content is created, to the detriment of hundreds of thousands of jobs. They want to pay for one day and use that work forever, without paying another cent. There are few scenarios that provide so elegant a definition of unfair labor practices, and the studio chiefs have made it clear that they will wait out the workers until they get what they want.
Among the ranks of the Listers, we have session singers, actors, stand-ins, writers, crew members, support staff, and more who cannot make a living right now. If you are able, please consider reaching out to your striking buddies and taking them to dinner, paying an electric bill, watching the kids for an evening, or just giving them a hug. Post something on your social media feeds to show support. Write to state and local leaders to urge them to continue supporting these workers. This strike is important because it shines a spotlight on the value of these creative workers in our community, our economy, and our society’s most basic principles of fairness. Please take a moment to show compassion to the less-than-famous and completely unknown workers who are fighting for their right to fair compensation in a new technological landscape. Whether or not you are a union member, you and your livelihood will be affected by these strikes in one way or another.
On this particular Labor Day, please support our local members of SAG-AFTRA and WGA. They’re standing up for all of us.