After four months, the joint Writers Guild of America (WGA)-Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strike has reportedly cost the California economy an estimated $5B, exceeding initial estimates made by experts.
Kevin Klowden, chief global strategist at the Milken Institute, which conducted the research, says the industries taking the hardest hit include the support services of Hollywood from around the globe – including restaurants, caterers, construction and transportation services, dry cleaners, and rental companies.
The time has come for studios and streaming companies to meet workers’ needs in terms of compensation and address their concerns about AI. These companies are attempting to severely cut writers’ ability to live while it’s the union members who create the content and then promote it. This strike is having a terrible impact beyond the writers’ and actors’ lives, and the studios should do what they can to end it.
While there’s no one worth backing in this battle between the elites on both sides, the actors and writers are acting particularly privileged in this disagreement. Rather than holding the entertainment industry hostage over AI, they should use the technology to supplement and improve their work. It's time to get back to work before even more local economies are decimated.