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Americans Support Strikes, Not Disney and Studios, In New Poll

Americans side with strikes

For more than three months, the writers of Hollywood have been standing strong on the picket lines. The WGA strike began on May 2, with writers demanding the studios compromise with them with regard to the use of artificial intelligence. Writers do not want to be replaced with machines. The writers also want the studios to be more transparent about streaming numbers, and they want big changes made to how they are paid residuals. Because of the sudden rise in streaming, writers feel they are not being adequately compensated when they don’t even know actual streaming numbers.

Writers Strike

Credit: Eric Appel, Flickr

Just two months after the writers went on strike, they were joined by the more than 160,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild. While they have different demands than the writers, both Guilds agree that the studios need to overhaul their contracts when it comes to AI and streaming residuals. SAG officials have said they are prepared to strike for at least six months to fight for what they want.

Fran Drescher SAG Strike

Credit: ABC

Both unions have been struggling to negotiate with the AMPTP — Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers — a team of studio executives, including Disney CEO Bob Iger. Most recently, the WGA met with the AMPTP negotiating team, and things did not go well. About a week after the meeting, the AMPTP released the offer made to the WGA, in an apparent move to gain support from the public.

The release did not go well, and the WGA said that the studios leaked their offer in an attempt to pressure them into ending the strike. The WGA remains firm in its convictions and said they will continue to strike.

Iger meets with employees after comments about selling media

Credit: Disney

And it looks like they have the support of the American public.

While Bob Iger and the rest of the AMPTP may have been hoping that revealing their offer would get the public on their side, it didn’t work. According to a new Gallup Poll, Americans are firmly on the side of both SAG and the WGA.

The recently released Gallup Poll shows that an astonishing 71% of polled Americans support the Writers Guild, compared to just 19% who support the studios. While not quite as high as the support for writers, 67% of those polled support Hollywood’s striking actors. Only 24% support the studios. Overall, 64% of those polled said that they support unions in general.

Americans side with WGA and SAG poll

Credit: Gallup

The Screen Actors Guild and its members have been sure to reiterate the fact that most of its members are not actors making $20 million per film. Many of them work paycheck to paycheck and struggle to qualify to meet the Guild minimum of $26,000 in earnings to qualify for health insurance.

After the failure of its last meeting, there is no future date set for negotiations to resume between the WGA and the AMPTP. There is also no meeting set between SAG and the AMPTP.

With the dual strikes, studio film and television productions are at levels not seen since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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