Yes, WGA & SAG-AFTRA members are on the street and in front of studios demanding fair wages and real protections against being replaced by AI (Artificial Intelligence) among other things. But there’s one theme that’s recurrent in every conversation these days: Greed. It’s a theme that’s as old as the world itself and that’s been at the heart of what has dominated this industry for the longest time, and at so many levels. We all know it and have experienced the devastating effects of it at some point.
Those who hold the keys to the kingdom know that things have to change eventually, so they’ll do it in a way that looks like they’re saving all of us from the abyss by asking a few CEOs to leave, then giving us the bare minimum to qualify for health insurance and some protections against AI. It would be so naive on our part to take the bait and be satisfied with that. If we want change, I say let’s ask for a big change, let’s flip the tables and revolutionize the entire studio system: a minimum of 30 percent increase in wages to reflect the huge inflation that the U.S. and world economies have experienced for a number of years now a 50 percent increase in residuals, no AI, and, universal health insurance for all performers and writers. That’s fifty percent subsidized by the Studios. Seems exaggerated? The wages of four Studio CEOs go above the billion dollar per year mark. That’s four people who simply collect what we create and build from scratch throughout the year. Think about it.
Our fight as members of SAG-AFTRA and the WGA goes beyond the fairness of a contract, it’s a fight that workers anywhere and everywhere recognize themselves in. It’s a fight for our children and families. It’s a fight for human dignity.