SEAN HIGGINS: Hollywood Unions Are Getting A Bitter Dose Of Reality

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The current strike by Hollywood writers and actors is a reactionary, rear-guard effort against changes in technology. The members of the WGA (Writers Guild of America) and SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) are doing what unions often do in these circumstances: fulminating against the changes and accusing management of being simply greedy.

History is not on their side. As the industrial unions found when they fought automation, technological changes simply cannot be undone. 

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher claimed on Friday that actors were being “dwindled and marginalized” by these changes.

“The entire business model has been changed by streaming, digital, [and] AI. This is a moment of history that is a moment of truth,” she declared.

The switch from traditional television broadcasting and cinema-going methods of distributing a film or series to computerized streaming services has been hugely disruptive to actors and writers, whose contracts are mostly based on the old distribution.

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