ENTERTAINMENT

Actors and writers on strike are united and determined in the face of a long summer standoff

Jul 17, 2023, 5:17 PM | Updated: 5:28 pm

people on strike holding signs...

Picketers carry signs outside Paramount in Times Square on Monday, July 17, 2023, in New York. The actors strike comes more than two months after screenwriters began striking in their bid to get better pay and working conditions and have clear guidelines around the use of AI in film and television productions. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Credit: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

(Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Solidarity and stamina were picket-line themes Monday as hot summer standoff with studios.

Picketers emphasized unity between writers, who have been on the lines for more than two months, and performers, who are only on Day 2 of striking — as well as camaraderie between highly paid actors and those with spare screen credits who struggle to scrape by.

Kevin Bacon, who was among the famous faces picketing among unknowns outside Viacom headquarters in New York, said his presence was about “seeing people out here and being aware that not all actors are super high paid actors, that they are working class people who are trying to make a living.”

One such working actor, Whitney Morgan Cox, who has appeared on the CBS series “Criminal Minds,” said it was “powerful” to see writers and actors come together who don’t often work simultaneously in production.

“I don’t think people necessarily realize the energy that writers and actors have,” Cox said outside Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, “and the stamina, and our ability to commit, that’s all our entire job is about is just committing to something and following through. So it’s been a really beautiful sense of community.”

Leaders of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists start striking the following day, joining the Writers Guild of America, who walked out on May 2.

“It’s been amazing to be out here now that we have the second wind of SAG members coming,” said Paul Scheer, who was already striking as a writer, and is now doing the same as an actor, outside Netflix headquarters in Hollywood. “I’m on strike two times, which means I have to walk double the steps, which is hard, but I’m willing to do it.”

On Monday temperatures were in the high 80s in New York, and well above 90 degrees F (32 C) in parts of Los Angeles, where some afternoon pickets were called off because of the extreme heat.

A union rally was planned for later in the day in Atlanta, where many productions have moved in recent years because of tax breaks and other lower costs.

The issue also came up in Washington, when White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded to a question during Monday’s briefing about whether the Biden administration supports the aims of striking entertainment workers.

“The president believes all workers, including the writers, including the actors, they deserve fair pay. And they deserve fair benefits,” Jean-Pierre said. “We sincerely hope that both actors and writers strikes get resolved, and that the parties come together and have a mutually beneficial agreement as soon as possible.”

While actors and writers also emphasized the need to reach a deal, few believed any such agreement would be coming soon, given the vast distance between the unions and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers — which represents studios, streamers and production companies in negotiations that are currently neither happening nor planned.

Key issues for both unions include residual payments, which have been nearly wiped out by the switch to the streaming system, and the unpaid use of their work and likeness by artificial intelligence avatars.

The AMPTP said it has offered fair terms on those and other issues.

“These things are things that I personally can negotiate for,” Bacon said. “But I’m here for the working class, middle class part of our union who needs these basic provisions in the basic contract.”


Associated Press Writers John Carucci in New York, Zeke Miller in Washington, Krysta Fauria in Los Angeles, and Leslie Ambriz in Burbank, California contributed.

 

KSL 5 TV Live

Entertainment

Marcus Wilson preforming at the Olympic Oval in Kearns to a group of people....

Peter Rosen

Buskering at Buskerfest

If you're downtown this weekend, you might see a unicycling unicorn. It's not a hallucination, it's Buskerfest. A celebration of street performers.

2 days ago

FILE - Steam billows from a coal-fired power plant Nov. 18, 2021, in Craig, Colo. The U.S. Securiti...

David A. Lieb, Associated Press

Republican AGs ask Supreme Court to block climate change lawsuits brought by several states

Utah state attorney general joins eighteen other Republican AGs in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to get involved in a dispute over climate-change lawsuits.

2 days ago

A still from "Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story" by Ian Bonhãte and Peter Ettedgui, an offici...

KSL TV

Sundance film ‘Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story’ gets U.S. theatrical release

Sundance film "Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story" will get a special-even theatrical release in the U.S.

2 days ago

FILE: Documentary Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock of 'Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!' attends The IMDb St...

Mark Kennedy, AP Entertainment Writer

Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, who skewered fast food industry, dies at 53

Documentarian Morgan Spurlock, who famously ate only at McDonald’s for a month in 'Super Size Me,' dies of cancer at 53.

2 days ago

precious moments figures...

Associated Press

Sam Butcher, Precious Moments figurines artist, dies at 85

The artist who created the Precious Moments figurines depicting angelic teardrop-eyed children has died. Sam Butcher was 85.

3 days ago

FILE - Charlie Colin appears at the Friendly House Los Angeles' 24th Annual Awards Luncheon on Oct....

Charlie Colin died 58

Charlie Colin of the band Train, dies at 58 after slipping in shower

Train bassist and founding member Charlie Colin has died at 58.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Actors and writers on strike are united and determined in the face of a long summer standoff