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Hollywood’s on the Verge of a Shut Down- Here’s Why

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at C of C chapter.

There is a very strong chance that Hollywood is going to shut down on Monday; all television shows and movies specifically will be forced to stop production. For many who are just hearing the news, this seems like it came out of the blue. However, this has been a long time coming- and here’s why.

What is IATSE?
When most of us think about Hollywood productions, we think of the “big name” talent such as the actors, directors, and producers. We tend to forget about the behind-the-scenes individuals who are able to make everything the actors and directors do happen. Costume designers, camera operators, sound technicians, hair and makeup artists, set designers, animators, and more are all examples of jobs essential to the production of shows and movies. Those jobs and individuals are part of the International Alliance for Theater and Screen Employees, also known as IATSE, which is made up of about 150,000 members, 60,000 of which are preparing to go one strike in the coming days.

Why is IATSE planning to strike?
IATSE members are planning to strike due to failing negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, also known as AMPTP. Their wages, benefits, and more are based on the deals they make with networks through the AMPTP and right now they have been attempting to negotiate better working conditions for their employees. Most IATSE employees on the film and television side do not make much money for their jobs, are forced to work extremely long hours (ranging from 12 to 18 hour days) and rarely get time off, often are not given breaks during their days, and are regularly forced to put their job above their physical and mental health if they want to keep working. They are tired of these conditions and in their new deal with the AMPTP, they are trying to negotiate more livable wages, more reasonable work days, and for studios to ensure the well-being of all their employees beyond just their stars. However, the AMPTP does not seem to want to change that.

The president of IATSE, Matthew Loeb, said in a series of tweets on Wednesday that, “We will continue bargaining with the producers this week in the hopes of reaching an agreement that addresses core issues, such as reasonable rest periods, meal breaks, and a living wage for those on the bottom of the wage scale. However, the current pace of bargaining doesn’t reflect any sense of urgency. Without an end date, we could keep talking forever. IATSE film and TV workers deserve to have their basic needs addressed NOW.”

When Will the Strike Happen?
IATSE has officially set their date for the start of the strike to begin on Monday, October 18, 2021 at 12:01 A.M. If a deal is not reached by the end of Sunday, we will see most of Hollywood shut down. That means movies currently shooting, television shows working on new episodes (both scripted and unscripted), and more will cease working. When the union took their vote, 90% of their members voted and 98% voted yes to strike until they get a better deal from the AMPTP.

IATSE also has the support of SAG-AFTRA (the actor union), Directors Guild of America, and the Writers Guild of America, so if IATSE and the AMPTP are unable to reach a deal most of the heavy-hitters in the entertainment industry will be backing their efforts to stop working until they get the conditions they are asking for.

Why Should I Care About The IATSE Strike?
The IATSE members are the blue-collar workers of the entertainment industry; they are your everyday people just trying to make a living whose employers are making that difficult for them to successfully do. Would you want to work 12-18 hours a day for six to seven days straight with few to no breaks in your day and have your employers do certain things deliberately to make your job harder? Because that’s what is currently happening with IATSE members. If you wouldn’t want to work in those conditions then you should support their efforts to change the status quo.

If you want to support IATSE’s efforts, you can sign their petition here and follow their stories on Twitter and Instagram.

Full time student, part time awards show predictor, full time recommender of television shows, movies, and books.