June 23, 2024
A&E / News

Don’t cross the picket line: updates on the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes

“Check out the official trailer for our new film, Thanksgiving, coming soon to cinemas,” star and Tik Tok influencer Addison Rae says to introduce the new teaser trailer for Eli Roth’s long awaited horror film. 

Superimposed on the bottom of the screen are the words, “Recorded Prior to July 14, 2023.” 

The Writers Guild of America (WGA), which represents 11,500 screenwriters, has been on strike due to a dispute of wages and creative issues since May 2, 2023

The strike guidelines included that all WGA members “immediately stop writing for all struck companies.”

This led to one of the most infamous results of the strike: a premature conclusion to Saturday Night Live’s 48th season. The last episode of the season aired on April 15, 2023, while past seasons have run through mid-to-late May.

On July 14, 2023, the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) joined the WGA in striking. 

Celebrities seen striking include Jason Sudeikis, Paul Dano, Rosario Dawson, and Susan Sarandon.

The SAG-AFTRA joining the strike is why the superimposition was included before the Thanksgiving trailer, along with many other interviews of actors, directors and writers. 

Interviews conducted by Letterboxd with celebrities like Greta Gerwig, director of “Barbie,” and Cillian Murphy, lead actor of  “Oppenheimer,” also stated that the interviews took place before their respective strikes began.

However, the clip of Addison Rae wasn’t even an interview.

According to the most recently updated guidelines of the SAG-AFTRA strike, Promotion of/publicity services for work under the TV/Theatrical Contracts, such as tours, personal appearances, and interviews must be withheld until the strike is over.

Also included in the withholds is social media, which is why you will find no recent posts about Thanksgiving on Addison Rae’s Instagram. 

The latest post regarding the film on her personal account was on Feb. 23, 2023. Same goes for “Bottoms” star Rachel Sennott, whose last post regarding the feminist comedy was just four days before the SAG-AFTRA strike began.

Studios are still able to promote their upcoming films, which is why the trailer Addison Rae is presenting is available despite the cast and crew’s limitations.

Similarly, the account @bottomsmovie’s latest post about the film was 18 hours prior to writing this article. 

There has also been a large increase in “Bottoms” trailers before YouTube videos, seemingly more than previous movies. Studios appear to be desperate to promote their upcoming projects, which is understandable given the harmful outcomes of the strike.

In the four months the WGA has been striking, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures has lost over 500 million dollars

Additionally, anticipated shows have been halted, like Max’s Batman spin-off, “The Penguin,” and season five of Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” which is reducing the income of major television studios.

Perhaps one of the most frustrating consequences is the halting of “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 2.” 

“Dead Reckoning Part 1” hit theaters just two days before the SAG-AFTRA strike, and saw immense success. The film ended on a cliffhanger that leaves fans unable to wait patiently for part two. 

Originally, the film was scheduled to release June 28, 2024, but has been delayed because of a pause in production.

These harsh results of the strike have proven to be too much for some celebrities. Drew Barrymore decided to continue her talk-show without her writers in a statement via Instagram posted on Sept. 10, 2023. 

This has created a stir for both Barrymore fans and those who support the strikes since her writers are covered by the WGA. 

While Barrymore herself is not technically violating the strike, as she is covered by a different contract, fans believe it is unwise and unfair to those striking to continue her show without writers.

As of right now, there is no clear endpoint for the strikes as studios are not meeting the strikers demands. It has been four months for the WGA and two for the SAG-AFTRA and there is no end in sight. 

Author

  • Charlie Rinehart

    Charlie is a first-year Creative Writing major. In his free time he enjoys drinking iced coffee and watching terrible horror movie sequels.

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