Two Hollywood unions have gone on strike for the second time in cinema history, halting production on existing and future projects. Today, actors joined Hollywood writers on picket lines. The Screen Actors Guild stated on Thursday that the strike would begin at midnight, causing the Oppenheimer cast to depart the film’s London premiere. The last time both unions went on strike together was in 1960; actors and authors had before picketed individually. Here’s all you need to know about Hollywood’s major shutdown.

WHY IS HOLLYWOOD ON STRIKE?

The Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild both want better pay, a fair share of earnings, better working conditions, and protection from artificial intelligence (AI) taking their employment. SAG has also asked for actors sending in self-made auditions to be compensated. On a website created for the strike, SAG says it wants “a modern contract that addresses modern issues.”

The decline in residual earnings, which performers receive from re-runs of their films and shows, is a major source of concern for both actors and writers. Residuals have nearly vanished because streaming sites do not publish their audience data and instead pay a set rate as residuals.

WHO ARE THEY STRIKING AGAINST?

The guilds are going on strike against the AMPTP, which represents the major Hollywood studios. SAG extended their strike deadline, which was set a month ago, in the hopes of reaching an agreement with studios. “We gave them an extension in good faith, hoping that they would make significant inroads and we would have something to talk about.” But we had been deceived. They remained behind closed doors, cancelling our meetings and squandering our time. It was most likely done to give them more time to advertise their summer films. Because nothing important came out of it,” SAG president Fran Descher told the news agency AFP.

HOW THE STRIKE WILL IMPACT HOLLYWOOD FILMS?

The film’s ensemble, lead by actors Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt, walked out of the premiere in London, the first to feel the impact of director Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. Special Ops: Lioness, starring Nicole Kidman, Zoe Saldana, Morgan Freeman, and others, has been cancelled, and more are likely.

The ‘Barbenheimer’ duel between Barbie and Oppenheimer next week will take place without the participation of either film’s stars. Almost all film and television production will come to a halt.

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