The American Sector Is On Strike

By Anton Eggendorfer

When you think about the poor and disenfranchised, you normally don’t think about Hollywood
actors and writers. Still they are on strike, namely the WGA, SAG and AFTRA. [1] Ever since the
introduction and growing popularity of streaming services the money a writer or actor could make on
a show would go downhill. This has to do with the way shows are monetized but also with the intent
shows are produced today. In former times there was mainly an emphasis on making money, with the
occasional art piece wedged in-between.

Nowadays there’s a greater emphasis on movies and tv working as a sort of propaganda tool. Movies, even beloved franchises like Star Wars, Ghostbusters or the Marvel movie series try to shove an ever greater number of current issues into their storylines. Female empowerment, gay and trans issues or racial inequality play an increasingly prominent role in these productions. Since much of the audience is fed up with movies preaching to them about social issues these movies, often financed by venture capital, hedge funds and the like, do not always turn a profit and often are, what you colloquially call “a box office dud”. With tv shows on streaming sites not being resold to other tv stations, movies often failing to produce a profit and corporate greed being alive and well, mid-level writers often feel the crunch when trying to make a living. There even was a story about a head-writer of a show called “The Bear” in the news, who, despite writing for a show that ran on the American F/X network and is streaming worldwide on Disney+, barely could scrape by during today’s inflation crisis. [2] Ironically many writers and actors within Hollywood promoted the very same policies that made their lives harder in the long run. With carbon taxes, immigration and the war in Ukraine driving up prices and failed social policies filling the streets of LA and San Francisco with the homeless and addicted. [3] Also a soft stance of crime making safe neighborhoods increasingly unaffordable. [4]

The modern inhabitant of the sector seems often unable to gauge the consequences of his own actions, which became painfully clear during covid lockdowns, when many writers and actors came out in favor of government policies that would render them jobless for months or even years. They are basically chopping off a branch they plan to sit on later.


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