I love our actors. I really do. I love the casts of our favorite shows: Bones, The Office, Eli Stone…
But, actors, if you strike, I will kick you in your perfectly made up faces.
If you haven’t heard, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) might be going on strike. It’s true. I read about it here and here. Apparently, like the writers’ strike last year, actors are looking for similar benefits/compensation for their work on the Internet.
Ok, it’s fair. People should be compensated for their work–especially in new mediums. But, actors, if you strike, you’re stupid.
Let’s relay the facts. Last year’s writers’ strike went on a long time. It stopped the shooting of our shows–some of which, didn’t recover (in fact, I think the only one that did was Heroes because it gave the show a chance to stop and restart after its crappy season 2). We’re actually still seeing the fallout of the strike today with low ratings to our favorite shows and cancellations of sophomore favorites like Pushing Daisies.
The writers did eventually get their deal–not an ideal, perfect compromise, but one that they could work with. And in the meantime, I got to go to a pretty cool rally.
(Sorry, off topic there.)
But people were out of work for a long time. Non-union employees really got hurt.
The great part was that the SAG was behind the WGA the entire time. Of course they were! How could they not support their writers? Without the writers, where would they be?
But here’s the issue: An actors’ strike would not be the same. First, they’re looking for even better compensation than the writers for Internet us. In an already terrible economy, I can’t imagine that this is going to work.
Second, I don’t think actors carry as much weight sometimes.
I really hate to say this because I love actors. I really do. But in a time when TV is growing each night by reality television, actors on TV are really getting scarce. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the strike would only affect TV, but it certainly wouldn’t help it. And as much as you all don’t want to believe it, yes, reality TV is scripted–at least to a degree. Which means that writers still needed to be there; actors don’t.
Third, I just don’t think they’ll get the public behind them. Actors have a bad rap. They aren’t all like this, but the sad part is, most of the population sees actors as Brad Pitts and Angelina Jolies. They’re people who are paid tons for the work that they do.
Again, most actors aren’t paid tons, but the fact that people think they are generally makes them less inclined to go with the actors when actors want more money. I feel like they were much more likely to look at the writers–individuals that are only honored at the Oscars and Emmys–but actors are shown all the time.
Plus, my first memory of entertainment strikes is when the cast of Friends left the set because they weren’t getting a million each per episode. A past like this isn’t going to get people happy.
And people LOVE TV and movies! They want to see more, not less. Seeing the actors strike might just get them frustrated.
Last, I think actors might be missing the issue of cancellation. Did we not learn from Pushing Daisies and many other shows on or close to the chopping block? A strike has ramifications, and if you’re going to do it, take into account that your show might not be there when you get back. Which means you won’t be paid at all.
So anyway, actors, please don’t strike. You’ll make me a very unhappy Raked. I really don’t want to kick you in the faces. I just bought new boots.