In support of all workers in the entertainment/information industry
Aloha e, I’ve been promising that our AQ documentary, The Struggle Never Ends, will be completed in 2023. The SAG-AFTRA strike has changed the completion time line! SAG-AFTRA’s 160,000 members are the “Faces and Voices that entertain and inform America and the world.” On July 14, SAG-AFTRA’s membership went on strike after negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP) failed. In taking this action the union joined with the 11,500 members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA), who had already been on strike for 80 days. Together the unions are taking on the multibillion dollar entertainment industry, including such giants as NBC/Universal, Paramount/CBS and Netflix. The digital age and streaming have created conditions where many performers can barely make ends meet, even those appearing in high profile productions. For the many who eke out a living on local productions, the situation is dire. (See: SAG-AFTRA Can Agree on One Thing: It’s Time to Crush the Big Studios) CLEAR’s Rice & Roses documentary specials have a proud tradition of utilizing SAG-AFTRA members. SAG-AFTRA and the WGA are fighting some of the wealthiest corporations in America. I’m reminded of the 1946 Sugar Strike in Hawaiʻi, when 26, 000 workers challenged Hawaiʻi’s Big Five corporations and the feudalistic system that allowed a handful of companies/families to control the entire economy. The sugar workers and their union waged a successful strike and broke the back of the Hawaii oligarchy! Eddie Lapa, a former sugar worker and later president of ILWU Local 142 reminds us of a simple truth:
In addition to demands for higher wages, profit sharing, and a host of other work life issues, SAG-AFTRA and the WGA are raising important questions about Artificial Intelligence, digital image capture, and other issues raised by the digital workplace and new technology!
Please join with me and raise your voices in support of all workers in the
entertainment/information industry. When the strike is won, we will be back on track to finish our labor/history documentary!
Mahalo Nui Loa,
Chris Conybeare, Executive Producer
The Ah Quon McElrath Project