Hollywood is now in disarray because studios refuse to take care of the writers who helped build it.
At 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, the Writers Guild of America began a strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, upending programming across Hollywood.
The strike comes in the aftermath of studios refusing to meet workers’ reasonable asks, such as higher minimum compensation levels and greater protections for writers in an industry rife with precarity. Streaming has decimated what used to be somewhat reliable income sources for writers (residual income from programs rerun through online, DVD, or network modes). Meanwhile, most industry writers are still limited to residing in high-cost-of-living areas, like New York City and Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the job as an industry writer brings no stability on its own.
“The companies’ behavior has created a gig economy inside a union workforce, and their immovable stance in this negotiation has betrayed a commitment to further devaluing the profession of writing,” the guild said in a statement on Monday.
The news of the strike loomed over the Met Gala, an annual fundraising event held to raise money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, which houses thousands of historical fashion artifacts over centuries.
While the gala is oft-dismissed as a garish display of high society, many of the gala attendees were quite forthright in their solidarity with the workers who help make their careers as film stars and television icons happen at all. Here’s a list of some of the most renowned social figures who are supporting Hollywood workers, and refusing to cross the picket line:
“If there’s a strike, yeah, I think we will, we’ll go dark,” late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon said.
“People strike for a reason,” Brian Tyree Henry, star of comedy-drama series Atlanta and films including If Beale Street Could Talk and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, said, simply.
“I support the writers,” said Olivie Wilde, star of acclaimed programs including medical drama House, Broadway actress, and award-winning director. “I support unions.”
Edie Falco, beloved star of programs like The Sopranos, reportedly canceled an appearance at Peacock’s NewFront where she was set to promote her new series. “It’s the least I can do,” she said.
“I don’t get what the problem is,” Amanda Seyfried, star of Mamma Mia! and Emmy award winning actress said. “Everybody needs to be compensated for their work. That’s fucking easy. I don’t get it.”