‘Moana’ Remake Is Postponed as Hawaiians Join Writers’ Strike

moana writers strike

If you were excited about the new Moana and Lilo & Stitch movies, then you’re about to be very disappointed!

The Writers Guild of America members have been making headlines nationwide as actors and writers face off against film studios — especially after a crucial attempt at negotiations failed earlier this week — and now the WGA strike has spread to Hawaii!

The Strike Has Spread

According to Hawaii News Now, “Hollywood productions in Hawaii are on pause as the union representing TV and film actors goes on strike.”

“About 160,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) will join nearly 20,000 Writers Guild of America members — who hit the picket lines in May — after negotiations broke down with the major movie studios on a new, three-year contract,” Hawaii News Now explained.

sag-aftra strike update

Credit: Herman de Keyperling, Flickr

Goodbye, Moana and Lilo

The addition of the SAG-AFTRA members’ support to the strike will involve about 1,200 Hawaii-based actors, and has directly led to the postponement of progress on movies — including the highly-anticipated live-action remake of Moana (2016) and the far-more-controversial remake of Lilo & Stitch (2002).

Apparently, “local casting calls for the Moana live-action remake and other productions are now canceled,” so actors who were auditioning for parts in the big-budget Disney films are missing those opportunities for who knows how long.

An actor named Amy Hill, who was cast in Lilo & Stitch, admitted that “having been in this business for a while…I’m always ready for losing a job” but that “it’s really hard to just suddenly say, ‘Oh, you’re not seeing any of those people again for a while.’”

The lack of support from Disney CEO Bob Iger — who made his unpopular opinion very clear earlier this week — suggests that it will be some time before this labor dispute is resolved.

lilo and stitch in a hammock

Credit: Disney

Is Disney “Still Blaming Poverty Because of the Pandemic?”

A significant portion of the striking actors’ and writers’ grievances involve the world of streaming (which Marvel star Scarlett Johansson shed a lot of light on during her recent lawsuit against Disney+).

“The new models are just turn out as much as you can, but you don’t get paid for your work for on your repeats, you know, like reruns or sales across different territories,” Anderson Le (from the Hawaii International Film Festival) explained. “When you get checks years down the line to help support you… those opportunities are over.”

We already learned a great deal about this unfair practice when a former Nickelodeon star recently spoke up, as well!

“The business model is going to try to break unions, because unions are just asking for their fair share of profits,” Amy Hill predicted. “Not just actors or creatives. It’s everybody.”

The actress also pointed out that film studios and platforms like Disney+ “are still blaming poverty because of the pandemic” — but that excuse no longer holds water.


Maui, Moana, HeiHei the chicken, and Pua the pig / Credit: Disney

“They don’t want to share their profits, with the people that are creating the content. And that’s what we’re fighting for, the writers and the actors,” Hill declared.

Are you surprised to hear that this strike has extended to Hawaii and directly affected the production of two big Disney films?

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!

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