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Homeentertainment#PopVultures Podcast: Why are writers and actors in the US on strike?

#PopVultures Podcast: Why are writers and actors in the US on strike?

Synopsis: Each month, The Straits Times examines the ins and outs of pop culture in the Asian entertainment and Hollywood scene.

Despite the double summer blockbuster of Barbieheimer – which brought in the fourth largest weekend box office of all time – Hollywood is currently at a standstill. Amid deteriorating working conditions and salaries that have failed to keep pace with rising inflation, the writers and actors of America are on a strike.

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The Writers Guild of America (WGA), who write for television, went on strike in May against the major studios, networks and streamers that form the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) followed in July, going on strike after having failed to reach a fair deal with the AMPTP.

This marks the first time since 1960 that both labour unions have been on strike together. Both unions have concerns over the use of artificial intelligence in entertainment and are asking for better and more timely compensation for their work. Negotiations have yet to restart.

In this episode of #PopVultures, host Jan Lee runs down the reasons why both unions are on strike, why it is unlikely to end anytime soon and how this double strike will affect audiences around the world.

Highlights (tap/click above):

1:19 What is the WGA, SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP?

3:34 How is Hollywood affected when the unions go on strike? 

7:19 Why are the unions striking? Their demands and how long the strike might last 

23:10 How are viewers affected? 

28:20 Some exceptions to the strike and the meaning of “scab”

Produced by: Jan Lee (, Paxton Pang and Eden Soh

Edited by: Paxton Pang

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