After the epidemic and the streaming revolution, Hollywood goes to battle.

BROOKLYN (Associated Press) — Watch Ron Perlman’s reaction to a claim that the studios intended to extend a strike long enough for writers to lose their homes, and you’ll get a feel of the level of hostility that’s circulating around Hollywood these days.
Actor Ron Perlman, known for his gravelly voice in “Hellboy,” leaned into the camera in an Instagram live video that has since been removed to express his frustration. Perlman said, “Listen to me, mother-(expletive),” which translates to “listen to me.” “There are numerous routes to homelessness.”
After the epidemic and the streaming revolution, Hollywood goes to battle
After the epidemic and the streaming revolution, Hollywood goes to battle
Hollywood’s film and television industry has once again come to a grinding stop, three years after the epidemic caused a similar shutdown. Streaming services advanced swiftly during the epidemic, but their impact on the entertainment industry’s bottom line has sparked a fierce debate this time around.
Hollywood has survived the epidemic and is currently immersed in its own “Apocalypse Now” double feature. Thousands of SAG-AFTRA actors went on strike this week, joining the 11,000 WGA writers who have been on strike since May, coinciding with the premiere of “Oppenheimer.” Actors and writers were on strike and rioting in Hollywood, prompting Puck’s Matthew Belloni to declare, “The town is burning to the ground.”
Fran Drescher, president of SAG-AFTRA, remarked angrily during a news conference announcing the strike, “You cannot change the business model as much as it has changed and not expect the contract to change, too.” We’re not going to make little adjustments to a contract that doesn’t reflect the realities of the business model we were forced to adopt.
Asking, “What are we doing?” in her explanation she said. “Rearranging the furnishings on the Titanic?”
When COVID-19 struck in March of 2020, it closed movie theaters, drove away TV crews, and halted production. The healing process is continuing. After being delayed by the epidemic, “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” finally made it to cinemas over the weekend. And its huge but not spectacular debut proved that part of the Hollywood of before the epidemic simply hasn’t come back. The box office is still down about 20-25% from where it was before the outbreak.
We have discussed the dynamics that are disruptive to our industry and the many difficulties we face, including the continuing recovery from COVID. Disney CEO Bob Iger noted on Thursday that the service is “not completely back.” Additionally, “this is the worst time in the world to add to that disruption.”
Even both SAG-AFTRA and the WGA have been asking for many of the same things for years, the present debate really started to heat up during the panicked days of the epidemic. Studios, in many instances, rushed to create their own streaming alternatives to Netflix, causing a digital “land rush” to the streaming market. The expansion of the subscriber base took precedence.
Carnegie Mellon University professor Rahul Telang, co-author of the book “Streaming, Sharing, Stealing: Big Data and the Future of Entertainment,” claims that a whole period of change was compressed into only two years.
What is occurring today was inevitable. According to Telang, “the entire industry was shaken up by streaming.” “They’re naturally whining, ‘We need our fair share.’ But how do you determine what’s a reasonable al__cpLocation? The origins and destinations of the funds being used must be made clear. This problem will persist until it is fixed.
In 1960, when Hollywood actors and writers went on strike at the same time, the guilds enacted significant provisions such as royalty (later residual) payments for repeats of films and TV programs. The last strike acknowledged the advent of television; the current one does the same for streaming media.
However, unlike the box office or TV ratings, streaming does not provide a clear criterion to create residuals, which have historically been a fundamental component of how authors and performers earn a living. SAG-AFTRA wants a cut of the money made by subscribers, as tracked by an outside company (in this case, Parrot Analytics).
Studios have not committed to that, but the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which negotiates on their behalf, claims that performers have been granted “historic pay and residual increases,” pension contributions, and other benefits.
Actors, meanwhile, are posting photos of the few residuals they’ve received for streaming successes. Star of Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” Kimiko Glenn shared a video of her $27.30 in residuals.
Actor Nachayka Vanterpool remarked on the picket lines, “You used to be able to work on a broadcast show, one show, and you’re good for the year because of the residuals.” Then streaming arrived, and your residuals were twenty cents a track. It has an effect on you.”
The so-called streaming battles that accelerated under COVID-19 seem to have been a complete and total loss for all parties involved. Most media businesses have seen stock drops since last year, when Wall Street started to lose faith in subscriber levels as the be-all and end-all. The demand from Wall Street now is straightforward: provide the cash flow.
Moreover, the push toward streaming has hastened the decline of broadcast television and the advertising money it formerly generated. Therefore, experts like MoffettNathanson’s Michael Nathanson have looked at the dispersed entertainment industry and predicted a “scary” second half of the year for the media industry.
Due to the decline of broadcast television caused by online streaming, numerous production companies have reduced staff. Over the last year and a half, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Netflix have all reduced their workforces. Profitability in streaming has been difficult to achieve. Disney+, according to The Walt Disney Company, will debut in the autumn of 2024. Max is expected to become profitable for Warner Bros. Discovery this year, which has taken the drastic measure of canceling completed movies in order to alter its streaming strategy.
As a result, many people are preparing for a potentially protracted suspension that, if it lasts into September, could have a significant influence on the next season of autumn TV shows and the film festivals (Venice, Telluride, Toronto) that launch awards season candidates. Drescher “couldn’t believe” how distant her union is from AMPTP.
The author of “Working in Hollywood: How the Studio System Turned Creativity into Labor,” Ronny Regev, speculates that this strike might have a similar trajectory to the one in 1960, when actors went on strike for approximately a month while the writers strike continued.
“I hate to bring up the cliche, but history repeats itself,” says Regev. Similar to the situation in 1960, the performers may settle on terms before the authors do. The corporations we’re working with now are vastly different. These corporations operate in several industries. Bezos, chairman of Amazon, may not give a hoot.
There are certain variations that work in the authors’ advantage. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), which represents below-the-line crew members, strongly opposed the strike by SAG (whose president at the time was a Democrat named Ronald Reagan) in 1960. This time around, the actors’ and writers’ groups had almost unanimous backing. Notably, IATSE will be negotiating a new contract of its own in 2019.
It is impossible to overestimate the significance of this moment. “Our industry is at a crossroads, and the actions taken now will affect the future of labor relations in Hollywood and beyond,” said IATSE president Matthew D. Loeb. Their conflict now is a preview of our conflict tomorrow.
Reasonable people have a chance. Perlman, for his part, expressed regret for his anger thereafter. Those in charge at the studio, he said, needed to develop “a degree of humanity.”
“It can’t be all about your (expletive) Porsche and your (expletive) stock prices,” Perlman remarked. If we are to hold up a mirror and reflect human realities, as performers and authors do, then there must be dignity.

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