The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Writers and Actors Strike Together

Jul 23, 2023

Actors in the Screen Actors GuildAmerican Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAGAFTRA) are on strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers (AMPTP). The strikers join the 11,500 Writers Guild of America (WGA) workers who have been on strike since May 2. Altogether the strikers number 76,500, against the combined entertainment giants of Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Warner Bros., Apple, Amazon, and Discovery.

These skilled workers need some guarantees of a living wage after years of being cheated and bulldozed out of the compensation they deserve for their work. The big entertainment producers change production practices and video-streaming systems in ways that cut out jobs, and block writers and actors from being paid for repeated use of their work.

A corporate executive was recorded saying that his strategy was to let the writers and actors “bleed out.” The workers say that on their low pay, they are already forced to have extra jobs to live on, so they know how to survive.

Meanwhile, the companies have to hope that advertisers keep buying time on old stale re-runs. The companies won’t get their next billion-dollar blockbusters written, and they won’t have star actors to promote their products.