Hollywood actors

Strikes by actors, writers and other Hollywood actors have repeatedly delayed film production | Canberra time

what’s up, music-theater-arts, movies, strikes, Ronald Reagan, SAG

The coronavirus has, unsurprisingly, caused delays in the making and release of many movies and TV shows. Among the many productions affected – some have had a break, others have had the start of filming postponed – include The Batman, Fantastic Beasts 3 and Mission: Impossible 7. Yes, even Tom Cruise is a victim of COVID-19, for so to speak. . No one is safe. But film productions suffered other disruptions. Among these, on a large scale, were strikes organized by various unions and employee groups. Fleischer studio animators went on a five-month strike in 1937 for better pay and conditions, and the Screen Cartoonists’ Guild was formed the following year. Non-union animators at the Disney studio went on a five-week strike in 1941. Many animators were fired or left (some formed their own studios) but the studio unionized and Disney was forced to recognize the guild. Interestingly, a big strike was led by Ronald Reagan in 1960 when he was president of the Screen Actors Guild. During his first term (1947-1952) as SAG president, Reagan—then a liberal Democrat—helped secure residual payments for television actors. But movie actors were still excluded from residual payments when their films were shown on television. In the late 1950s, actors wanted to act on it, but producers, unsurprisingly, were reluctant. In February 1960, Reagan asked SAG members for permission to strike—unprecedented in Hollywood history. It began on March 7, shutting down film production. Weeks of negotiations with the producers followed and a settlement was reached on April 18. It gave actors residuals for movies made from 1960 onwards, but not those made before 1948. There was also a one-time payment of $2.25 million for movies between 1948 and 1960 that was used by the guild as seed capital for health and pension plans. Although not all of the cast were happy with the plan, it was approved by the vast majority of members and paved the way for future strikes in the film industry. Reagan’s position on unions – at least American ones – changed somewhat when he became Governor and Republican President of California. For example, as president he fired thousands of air traffic controllers who went on strike that was found to be illegal and, rather less defensibly, appointed three management representatives to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which which has significantly deviated from its obligation under the law to help promote collective bargaining, among other things. Back on topic: On “Hollywood Black Friday” – October 5, 1945 – a six-month strike by set designers represented by the Conference of Studio Unions reached a violent climax. A meeting at the gates of the Warner Bros studio involving strikers, scabs, studio firefighters and police left dozens injured. Negotiations and another strike led to the disappearance of the power of the CSU – its members went into another union – and the whole affair helped trigger the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, limiting the activities and power of unions. Nevertheless, there have been several other strikes over the years. In 1958, the American Federation of Musicians called for a strike against Hollywood studios. Many Californian musicians were unhappy with the direction of the AFM – it took a heavy toll on a general musicians’ trust fund favoring the many part-time players across the country at the expense of playing professionals. Hollywood. AFM policies also discouraged television producers from scoring in Hollywood so many shows used canned library music recorded in Europe. The strike meant that recording musicians on the West Coast were out of work. One of the main victims of this was composer and conductor Bernard Herrmann, who was unable to record his score for Alfred Hitchcock’s film Vertigo: it was recorded in London and Vienna under the direction of Muir Matheson (Herrmann was unhappy with the results). A splinter union – the Musicians Guild of America – was formed and won the right to bargain. As MGA musicians got more TV music work, the studios, then undergoing other major changes as the old-style studio system broke up, dismantled their music departments and employed musicians to freelancing. Without a good script, you can’t have a good image, but despite that, writers are often the butt of jokes and put-downs, are easily replaced, and don’t have the strongest negotiating position. The Writers Guild had strikes in 1960 (21 weeks), 1973 (three and a half months), 1981 (three months), 1985 (two weeks) and 1988 (22 weeks) and 2007-8 (14 weeks). The Directors Guild had a strike in 1987 that lasted just over three hours. Since these strikes all tend to be over payout disagreements — residuals, new media — it seems the relative status of directors and writers remains the same.

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