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Strikes in Hollywood

SHOUT-OUT Entertainment industry workers rally in Burbank, California, on August 22. CHRISTINA HOUSE—LOS ANGELS TIMES/GETTY IMAGES

Writers and actors continue to strike in Hollywood. They are concerned about pay and the use of AI in the entertainment industry. The strike pits some 170,000 film and television workers against studio giants such as Disney and Paramount, and streaming companies such as Netflix.

“The entire business model has been changed” by streaming, actor Fran Drescher said in July. She leads the actors’ union. The business could change further because of AI. “This is a moment in history, a moment of truth,” Drescher said.

Since the strikes started, in May, many productions have shut down. This means fewer television shows in the fall. It could mean delayed movie releases next summer.

The studios say that since streaming began, profits have fallen. Fewer people are going to movie theaters and watching network and cable TV.

Writers and actors want livable wages, and both worry about the use of AI. The writers say it could be used to replace them. Actors say their images could be digitally altered without their approval or their getting paid.

“This is an important moment,” actor John McClain says. “We’ve got to really make a decisive stand.”

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