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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.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

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This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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