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Opinion: The Hollywood Strikes and Other Things


By Fabebk - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Whats up nerd, geeks, weebs, and everbody in between! I know, I've been absent for a while. My bad y'all. Writing has become more challenging for me lately due to the transformations taking place in the entertainment industry. I'm hoping my readers will lend me an ear(or eye?) as I discuss my current view of the current state of affairs for the industry. Politics can be quite divisive, but the ongoing writers' and actors' strike is predominantly a political matter. Many have observed a noticeable decline in the quality of our entertainment, and as a devoted MCU fan, I expected some decline to be inevitable. The greater overall narrative is still unfolding, and that was enough for me, until it no longer was.

I want to emphasize that I firmly believe in the importance of representation and the need to move away from exclusively featuring straight white male characters in our stories. I've appreciated most of the casting choices and remain enthusiastic about the future of the franchise. However, alongside these castings, there must be exceptional storytelling to captivate the audience; otherwise, in my view, it would lend credence to the argument that many have accused popular movie studios and entertainment brands of, which is pandering.
Representation is undeniably important, but when it's pursued solely for financial gain, its significance diminishes, and it becomes a predatory practice that deserves condemnation. This brings me to the matter of the strikes. Personally, I believe the decline in the quality of writing served as a clear indicator of discontent among creative professionals working in an industry that undervalues them. They're often compelled to sign contracts with companies that fail to show them proper respect and fair compensation.
Let's begin with the facts: Actors and writers, like the rest of us, seek increased compensation. This can and should include higher pay rates and a larger share of the residuals generated by streaming services. Writers and performers also seek protection against the potential displacement by artificial intelligence. I personally appreciate the tools that AI has introduced into our lives since its widespread adoption. However, I view AI as a tool rather than a replacement for writers, actors, and artists.

By David James Henry - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

AI was originally intended to benefit people by automating mundane tasks, allowing individuals to focus on creating their art or engaging in more meaningful activities. Unfortunately, it appears that many large corporations prioritize profit above all else and are all too eager to replace working artists and authors if it boosts their bottom line. Studios are facing closures or are compelled to reduce their workforce, often resorting to the use of "force majeure clauses" to terminate production agreements with writers, all in the name of cost savings.
The VFX industry has been strained due to frequent last-minute script changes, and VFX artists and directors are suffering greatly from the resulting long working hours. This issue came to the forefront when VFX staff who contributed to "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" voiced their concerns. More than 100 animators left their roles due to the punishing pace they were subjected to, citing excessively long workdays and constant script alterations. Numerous artists reported investing hours in scenes that were ultimately discarded, with no recognition for their hard work.
By Eden, Janine and Jim from New York City - SAG-AFTRA Picket I, CC BY 2.0,

I'm pretty sure I'm not raising any new points here, but I want to emphasize that the mistreatment of creatives in the film industry is causing significant harm to the entire world of entertainment. The ongoing strikes don't appear to be subsiding anytime soon, leading to the postponement of numerous highly anticipated projects as actors and writers await a resolution. There's even talk of the strike expanding into the video game industry.
I stand firmly in support of the workers and hope they draw inspiration from the Disney VFX team, who successfully unionized in response to Disney's ongoing mistreatment. As someone who has a lot of love and appreciation for comic cinematic universes and video games, I sincerely hope for a swift resolution to this situation. However, my paramount hope remains focused on the fair treatment and just compensation of creatives in both Hollywood and the gaming industry.

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to contributing more articles in the future. Take care, fellow nerds, geeks, weebs, and everyone in between.

By Fabebk - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

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