The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

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Workers Stand Up, Hollywood Stands Still

“Stranger Things” season five production shut down.

“Dune: Part 2” filming delayed.

“The Last of Us” on hold indefinitely… and the list keeps growing of the shows and movies impacted by the ongoing Writer’s Guild Of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strikes. As film buffs, TV enthusiasts, and casual viewers alike mount in frustration over the repercussions faced from the Hollywood industry stalemate, it is important for us to understand the meaning of this dispute, and support the workers in their efforts. 

On May 2, the WGA went on strike in an effort to get proper compensation for over 11,000 film, television, news, radio, and online writers. By July 5, The SAG-AFTRA union joined the strike and opened up negotiations for writers and actors alike. Together, both unions hope to get equitable pay for their members, form fair contacts with the currently dominating streaming services, and open up conversations on how to properly utilize the rapidly developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems. For too long, the unsung heroes of the entertainment industries, whether it be the dedicated script editors in the backroom or Dog Walker #3 just trying to catch his big break, have been taken advantage of by the multimillion dollar corporations attempting to find loopholes in the system. 

These companies limited creativity, stunted a worker’s right to own their art, and have created unstable work environments. Well, the actors and writers of the industry say enough is enough. For the first time since 1960, WGA and SAG-AFTRA have joined forces to get better working conditions, and it is everyone’s responsibility to stay vigilant until progress is made. 

Going beyond worker’s rights, this strike is especially prevalent as it will set the tone for the handling of technological advancements. AI is going to impact every single job in this country. It is growing at an extremely fast rate, often in ways that many individuals do not understand. The WGA and SAG-AFTRA are the first industries to tackle the complications that AI and its usage brings to the table, and it won’t be the last. How can AI be utilized in an efficient manner without giving it too much control? The agreements reached within this strike will serve as a foundation moving forward on AI’s role in the workforce. While fighting for worker’s rights to fair pay has been a recurring battle throughout history, the fight over AI is an entirely new frontier and will shape where many industries go from here. 

As we all know, society has formed quite the reliance on the entertainment industry. We are used to the immediate gratification of streaming what we want, when we want it, and it is easy to forget the nameless individuals who poured their hearts into the production. Our favorite works of art wouldn’t exist without writers. They have earned not only proper compensation for their hard work, but also proper recognition. So while we grow impatient as we wait for our favorite shows and movies to hit the screen, let’s not lose sight of who’s to blame for this halt, and who the true titans of Hollywood are.

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