Gigantic Hollywood strike might put your beloved TV show on hold

Gigantic Hollywood strike might put your beloved TV show on hold

Audience's thirst for streamed content has fueled increasingly long work days for below-the-line workers; IATSE members have had enough.

Once upon a time, the entire Hollywood industry shut down. On October 5, 1945, thousands of workers walked out of high-powered studios in the name of fairer working conditions. The epic strike took on the name of "Hollywood's Bloody Friday." For six months, all productions were severely delayed. That meant: nothing new on television. No movies to go to. No escape from the humdrum of real life. And in those times, no one even had the saving grace of YouTube or TikTok.

Cut to: October, 2021, and we are faced with the same situation. Which is bad news for those looking to binge new shows during their WFH job.

Entertainment has become a saving grace, if not an absolute necessity, during the pandemic. Many of us survived the shutdowns thanks to entertainment. Whether swooning over "Bridgerton" or gaping in awe at "Tiger King," television has provided us a much-needed escape from reality. However, thanks to disputes over unlivable wages and inhumane working conditions, your favorite show might be stuck on a cliffhanger for a while.

Why is this happening?

Starlets and action heroes in front of the camera often gain the glory of the public, yet behind the scenes, there are crew members—those who run sound, lighting, hair, makeup and camera departments—who normally contribute longer hours and more manpower to keep the wheels of the production running.

These crew members make up a union known as IATSE (the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists, and Allied Crafts). And this past Monday, IATSE once again voted "yes" on a strike approval after broken negotiations with the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers). Yes, it's the age-old story of the working man versus the money man. IATSE members are fighting for increased income, more rest periods and increased residual payments for streaming projects. If their demands are not met, IATSE has approved a unionwide walkout. Meaning history could very well repeat itself.

Below are a few sample horror stories taken from @iatsestories on Instagram, which depict a regular—yes, regular—day on set:

At best, film and TV crew members are unsung heroes; at worst, they are literally putting their lives in danger due to incredibly taxing working environments. A typical day for crew members is 12 hours. That can go up to 15 or 16 hours a day, without weekends, and sometimes without actual lunch breaks. That's the equivalent schedule demands of many frontline workers. Only instead of saving lives, members of IATSE risk injury and even work related death. It hardly seems humane to force workers to sacrifice their physical, emotional and mental health in the name of entertainment. Let's face it: A lot of the time we're only half paying attention to the screen as we're folding laundry.

For all the risk, the wages are often less than minimum wage. And though projects from major streaming platforms such as Netflix, AppleTV and Disney+ earn income that rivals—or even exceeds—those of traditionally released blockbusters, the payment terms remain the same as they did 10 years ago.These multimillion dollar companies have the same residual payment responsibilities as a fledgling start-up.

What happens next?

Negotiations are reforming between IATSE and AMPTP, thanks to IATSE's historic strike authorization. Now that things are back on the bargaining table, perhaps a better, more fair contract can be ironed out between the two unions. Things do seem optimistic. Scarlett Johansson's lawsuit victory against Disney over "Black Widow" streaming profits shows an artist leveraging power away from a gigantic media conglomerate. Hopefully those without celebrity status, yet who contribute equally (if not more so) to the movie and television shows we love, will get the same fair treatment.

Scarlett Johansson wins lawsuit against Disney.www.hollywoodreporter.com

If not, it might be reruns of "The Great British Bake Off" for all of us.

via Tod Perry

An artist's recreation of Jackie's napkin note.

A woman named Jackie pulled a move straight out of a romantic comedy recently, and it has the internet rallying around her potential love interest. Jackie met a guy at a bar and liked him so much that she gave him her phone number. Well, 80% of her number, that is.

The world heard about it on January 17 when Twitter user Henpecked Hal and shared a picture of the napkin with her partial phone number written on it. "My 22-year-old cousin met his dream girl at a bar and it's going pretty well,” Hal wrote in the tweet.

Keep ReadingShow less

Sustainably good news: Recycling is getting better and this family is showing us how

What if instead of focusing on what isn’t working, we looked at these stories as an invitation to do better?

Via Ridwell

Ryan Metzger and son Owen

There is no shortage of dire news about the state of modern recycling. Most recently, this NPR article shared the jaw-dropping statistic that about 5% of all plastics produced get recycled, meaning the rest of it ends up in landfills. While the underlying concerns here are sound, I worry that the public narrative around recycling has gotten so pessimistic that it will make people give up on it entirely instead of seeing the opportunities to improve it. What if instead of focusing on what isn’t working, we looked at these news stories as an invitation to do better?

Keep ReadingShow less

A letter to the woman who told me to stay in my daughter's life after seeing my skin.

'I'm not a shiny unicorn. There are plenty of black men like me who love fatherhood.'

Doyin Richards

Dad and daughters take a walk through Disneyland.

Fathers Everywhere

This article originally appeared on 06.15.16

To a stranger I met at a coffee shop a few years ago who introduced me to what my life as a parent would be like:

My "welcome to black fatherhood moment" happened five years ago, and I remember it like it happened yesterday.

I doubt you'll remember it, though — so let me refresh your memory.

Keep ReadingShow less

Indie pop band Sub-Radio created a perfect introvert parody of Whitney Houston's hit song.

There are two kinds of people in this world—those who Google "nightlife" when they're exploring travel destinations and those with no desire to venture anywhere after 10:00 p.m.

Nothing against those folks who enjoy spending after-bedtime hours in crowded nightclubs, but "nightlife" just sounds like torture to me. Even during my somewhat wild college days, whenever I'd go out dancing late at night with my friends, the little voice in my head would say, "You know you'd rather be curled up on your couch in your jammies right now." And it was right. I would have.

While some introverts may genuinely look forward to a night on the town, I'd venture to guess most of us don't. By the end of the day, our social batteries are usually pretty tapped out, so a quiet evening with a movie or a book is almost always preferable to one that involves trying to make conversation over blaring music and strobe lights.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Magician changes his act so a visually impaired man can experience it for the first time

“I really want you to experience the magic right now. So let’s try something.”


“There’s always a way to experience magic.”

Pro magician Kevin Li has dazzled audiences, celebrities and even heavy hitters in the industry like Penn and Teller with his impressive sleight of hand displays.

However, Li would tell you that one of his “most memorable” performances wasn’t for a sold out crowd, but for a single person who might normally miss out on his gifts.

A video posted to Li's TikTok shows Li offering up a magic trick to a man who is vision impaired. At first, the man politely declined, saying, “I’m blind, so the magic won’t work for me."

Without missing a beat, Li replied, “I really want you to experience the magic right now. So let’s try something.”

Keep ReadingShow less

Alabama community loves deaf Waffle House cook who taught his co-workers to use sign language

Manager Michael Clements has "never seen" an employee like Pookie White.

via Google

The Waffle House in Hope Hull, Alabama.

Even though companies with workplaces that make accommodations for disabled workers are happier and more profitable, there is still a huge discrepancy in workforce participation between deaf people and those who can hear. According to Deaf People and Employment in the United States, 53% of deaf people are in the workforce as compared to 75.8% of those who can hear.

One of the biggest hurdles to deaf people entering the workforce is discriminatory hiring practices, intentional or not.

“There are often layers of discriminatory hiring practices that make [workplace participation] statistics still hold true today,” the study says. “Such practices can range from the discriminatory language on the job ad itself, to the application & hiring process, and can even impact the promotion of deaf employees.”

Keep ReadingShow less