Canadian and American News Coverage of the 2023 Hollywood Guilds Strike

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The WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes have received an immense amount of media coverage over the past year, with an apparent majority striking in favour of increased rates of pay for writers and actors. Preliminary research suggests that American news outlets highlight the strike's impact on U.S. film crews, directors, producers, writers, and actors, with little discussion about its impact on Canadian film production. Therefore, we would like to examine the way that this strike has been portrayed by Vancouver-based versus Hollywood media outlets. Specifically, we would like to present whether American media outlets – especially trade publications like Deadline, Vanity Fair, New York Times, and The Hollywood Reporter may have more of an American-focused narrative about the effects of the strike as opposed to Canadian news outlets like CBC, CTV, Global News, Vancouver Sun, and The Tyee.  



The WGA and SAG-AFTRA are American film and television unions representing various entertainment talents. This includes writers, actors, voice artists, radio hosts, and dancers, among many others.

The Screen Writers Guild, founded in 1920, was the precursor to the WGA. Before then, there was a movement amongst authors and story editors to form an alliance and foster professional camaraderie. As film grew in complexity, the role of the writer became essential to the movie-making process, and the needs of a film writer were vastly different from that of an author. A new union needed to be formed with the specific needs of the film writer in mind. The Screen Writers Guild was formed to meet these needs, and the first constitution specific to the film writer was laid out. This included a clause to “Free American motion pictures from censorship.” After some initial momentum, the guild slowed due to external circumstances, and in  1927, it went dark until the official WGA was formed in 1933. The guild is still strong today and represents writers across all entertainment mediums.[1]

SAG-AFTRA combines two American labour unions: the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. SAG was founded in 1933 in response to an influx of actors coming to Hollywood[2] and challenging working relationships between the actors and studios.[3] AFRA was formed in 1937 to represent radio artists. Eddie Cantor, one of SAG’s founding members and their first president, went on to act as president for AFRA.[4] In 1940, with the introduction of TV production, it was decided that the two unions would share jurisdiction over television production.[5] In 1952, AFRA became AFTRA. SAG gained jurisdiction over filmed TV, while AFTRA was responsible for live television and news broadcasting.[6] After decades of negotiation, SAG and AFTRA merged formally in 2012. Ken Howard was elected the first president of the merged union. He previously served as SAG's president.[7] Today, SAG-AFTRA represents over 160,000 performers and media professionals working across many entertainment mediums, including motion pictures, television, radio, news broadcasting, new media, video games and commercial production.[8]

US and Canadian film industries

The American and Canadian film and television production scenes share many attributes and approaches to media production. A few key differences set the two industries apart and have caused drastically different reactions to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

The American film industry dates back to the late 1800s, with the introduction of Edward Muybridge’s famous Horse race sequence.[9] The invention of the Lumiere Brothers Cinematographe brought a mass audience to the film format.[10] When the Cinematographe came to America, it brought vaudeville and circus to the screen and gave audiences all over North America an opportunity to experience exotic life from across the world. During World War Two, the Hollywood film industry cooperated closely with the government to support its war-aims Information Act. The Bureau of Motion Picture Affairs was created to coordinate propaganda production. These films showcased morale-boosting messaging and themes around the “American way of life.” The film industry had financial problems in the post-war era, and out of this were born genre films and small-scale dramas.[11] In the last years of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st century, the idea of “synergy” dominated the motion-picture industry in the United States, and an unprecedented wave of mergers and acquisitions brought an era of studio giants. The entertainment mega-corporations form the makeup of what we know as the American film industry today.[12]

The Canadian film industry has lived in the shadow of the American industry since its inception. The Canadian industry is steeped in American influences from its humble beginnings. Over ninety percent of the films screened in Canada are produced in a foreign country. The government of the United States erected tariff barriers in 1910, effectively denying foreign producers access to the American market. At the same time, American production companies either purchased outright the few Canadian film distributors or signed exclusive distribution deals with Canadian theatre owners. Many independent theatre owners complained they could not get timely access to the most popular films. Without access to an outlet for their product, many Canadian filmmakers travelled to the States to make their films. One Canadian company stood out from the rest in seeing the potential of Canadian film. The Canadian Pacific Railway saw the purpose of filmmaking as a means of communication and propaganda to draw interest to Canada from European tourists. This made Canada a production hub for local documentary and news filmmaking. Placing the Canadian narrative into a corner it has struggled to leave. Within the modern film industry, Canada has become a popular film destination for American productions due to its vast array of distinct landscapes, its cheap labour due to the exchange rate and government subsidies for American productions. This has established Canada as a “service industry.” Canadian production companies will assist American productions in the crewing and production of American-made films.[13]

History of Hollywood union strikes

Trade unions in Hollywood and the entertainment industry, in general, have a long history of labour-related disputes and strikes. Some notable ones are:

  • In 1936, Hollywood workers went on strike backed by the American Federation of Labor against the loss of employment suffered by Hollywood workers as a result of the use of US Army and Navy involvement in motion picture production without cost to the studios.[14]
  • In March 1945, 78 members of the Screen Set Designers, Decorators and Illustrators staged a walkout.[15] This jurisdictional dispute over which union would represent the set decorators in negotiations with management – the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE) or its confrontational, up-and-coming rival, the Conference of Studio Unions (CSU) – mushroomed into a long, violent struggle involving thousands of workers. 29 weeks in, October 5 saw what is known as Hollywood Black/Bloody Friday, in which a two-hour general melee ensued between strikers and non-strikers in which tear gas bombs, fire hoses, brass knuckles, clubs, brickbats, and beer bottles were used. It left 40 non-serious casualties.[16]
  • December 1, 1952, was when the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) went on strike for the first time over filmed television commercials, lasting until February 18, 1953.[17] It ended with a contract in which the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) recognized SAG as a bargaining agent for performers in commercials.[18]
  • In 1953, the Screen Writers Guild (a predecessor of the Writers Guild of America) went on strike against the Alliance of Television Film Producers (ATFP) for 13 weeks. Gains included the first residuals for the reuse of made-for-television products.
  • From January 16, 1960, the Writers Guild of America struck the ATFP for 22 weeks. Gains included the first residuals for theatrical motion pictures and a 4% residual for television reruns, domestic and foreign. Also, this groundbreaking contract established an independent pension fund and participation in an industry health insurance plan.[19] The Screen Actors Guild strike also occurred around the same time on March 7, 1960[20], as part of the broader labour dispute. The actors' strike lasted six weeks, paling in comparison to this strike. The two unions would not strike simultaneously for another sixty-three years until the 2023 Writers Guild of America strike and the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike occurred.[21]
  • On July 14, 1987, the Directors Guild of America was scheduled to go out on what everyone expected would be a long and nasty strike over management's proposed rollback on royalty payments, or residuals, to directors when a movie is sold to pay-per-view cable television.[22] However, The Guild's first industry-wide strike lasted three hours, five minutes in New York and only five minutes in Los Angeles (due to the time difference) before negotiations yielded an agreement with the AMPTP.[23] [24]
  • In 1988, the WGA (East and West) struck the AMPTP for 22 weeks, the longest strike in its history. Gains included an increase in residuals for reuse of free television product on basic cable to 2.0% of the license fee; residuals negotiated for made-for-basic cable product; and improvements in creative rights for the writers of original screenplays and television movies.[19]
  • In 2007, the WGA (East and West) went on strike for 14 weeks. Gains included MBA coverage of content made for new media; and residuals for reuse on new media platforms, including digital downloads and use on ad-supported internet services. This was the last major Hollywood union strike until 2023.[19]

Timeline of the 2023 Hollywood Guilds Strike

March 2023

Negotiations on a renewal for a three-year contract between the WGA and the AMPTP began on March 20, 2023. The goal was for these talks to last for two weeks before they had a two-week break to reflect.[25] On March 31, their last day before their break, there were conflicting reports on progress.  It was stated by Deadline that both sides were close to making a “significant step in negotiations.” While other outlets, such as Puck, reported this as false.[26]

April 2023

On April 3, 2023, the WGA asked its writers to vote on whether or not to go forward with a strike. Exactly two weeks later, on April 17, it was announced on the platform “X”[27], that members, nearly unanimously, voted yes. Just over 9,000 were in favour out of the 9,218 who voted.[28]

May 2023

The original date for a new contract between both sides, which covers roughly 11,500 members, was set for May 1, 2023[29]. Negotiations were not settled on this date, meaning, as of May 2 at 12:01 a.m., a WGA strike was in full effect, and picket lines hit the streets of New York City, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.[30] This immediately impacted hit television shows. The late-night talk shows were the first to feel the change, while big-name productions, such as Stranger Things[31], expressed their stance by halting filming productions of their newest season on May 6.

June 2023

Members of both the DGA (Directors Guild of America) and SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild) were coming up on contract expiration dates for their agreements at the end of the month on June 30.

On June 3, the DGA announced it had reached a tentative agreement, and on June 23, they voted to approve its contract with AMPTP.

Yet, on June 5, SAG-AFTRA members voted in a similar fashion to the WGA’s vote one month before at nearly 98 per cent in favour of going on strike to give them more leverage at the bargaining table at the end of the month. However, as the June 30 date approached, the SAG-AFTRA contract negotiation had been extended to July 12.[32]

Members of SAG-AFTRA began expressing their support and solidarity with the WGA before they officially joined the strike. On June 28, more than 300 celebrities, such as Meryl Streep, Jude Law, and Brendan Fraser signed a letter to SAG leadership expressing the importance of this message.[33]

July 2023

The AMPTP and major studios planned to let writers run out of money by October after five months on the picket lines and no work before making any plans to sit down with the Writers Guild, according to industry insiders’ statements to Deadline. The AMPTP publicly denied the existence of the alleged "October surprise."[34]

An official bulletin to all SAG-AFTRA members declared the strike effective from 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time, July 14, 2023. “All covered services and performing work under the TV/theatrical contracts must be withheld,” the bulletin mentioned, along with rules for the strike.[35]

On July 17, SAG-AFTRA released a twelve-page statement titled We're Fighting for the Survival of Our Profession, detailing some of the key issues and updates of the negotiation. “We moved on some things, but from day one, they wouldn’t meaningfully engage on the most critical issues,” it read.[36] The AMPTP released a counter-statement on the same day, saying that SAG-AFTRA mischaracterized the negotiations with AMPTP. “Not only does its press release deliberately distort the offers made by AMPTP, it also fails to include the proposals offered verbally to SAG-AFTRA leadership on July 12,” it read.[37]

On July 18, WGA and SAG-AFTRA filed grievances with the National Labor Relations Board against NBCUniversal, who they claim was impeding their right to picket by blocking the public sidewalk directly adjacent to the studio amid an ongoing construction project, hence endangering its members. NBCUniversal was also accused of pruning trees that were providing protestors shade amid the severe summer heat wave.[38]

Between July 14 and 18, SAG-AFTRA authorized waivers for 45 films to continue production during the strike.[39]

On July 25, SAG-AFTRA hosted a star-studded rally at Times Square in New York City with actors like Matt Bomer, Christine Baranski, Steve Buscemi, Tituss Burgess, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Chastain, Brendan Fraser, Nancy Giles, Danai Gurira, Christopher Meloni, Chloë Grace Moretz, Wendell Pierce, Michael Shannon, Christian Slater, Corey Stoll, Merritt Wever and Rachel Zegler in attendance.[40]

On July 30, SAG-AFTRA released a statement justifying its Interim Agreements that allow independently produced films and TV shows to proceed amid the ongoing performers’ strike. The union explained that agreements allow members to work for companies not part of the AMPTP.[41]

August 2023

On August 1, 2023, members of the WGA were informed via email and social media that negotiations between the AMPTP and WGA were resuming. On August 4th, the two groups organized a meeting to discuss future arrangements. By August 11th, the WGA received an offer from the AMPTP. On August 22nd, the writers met with several prominent members of the AMPTP, including Bob Iger and Donna Langley. Negotiations between the two groups were unsuccessful, and the WGA ultimately rejected the offer.[19] SAG-AFTRA continued picketing throughout August without a deal being reached with the AMPTP.[42]

September 2023

On September 20th, negotiations resumed with a joint statement from the WGA and the AMPTP. The statement provoked rumours of a solution being reached the following day. However, on September 21st, the strike continued with another meeting between the WGA and the AMPTP. On the 21st of September, a statement was made by the WGA encouraging members to join the picket line. Negotiations then continued for several days. A tentative agreement between the WGA and the AMPTP was reached on September 24th and a few days later on September 27th after 148 days the strike ended[19]. SAG-AFTRA held a vote on whether to authorize a strike for members working in the video game industry in mid-September. The vote indicated that 98.32% of members supported authorizing a strike in video games[43][44].

October 2023

The WGA made a statement confirming its satisfaction with the AMPTP’s offer in early October. From October 2nd-9th, the WGA engaged their voting procedures on the new offer they had been presented. The vote was resolved, with 99% of the WGA members voting to accept the deal. The deal was, therefore, accepted[19]. The SAG-AFTRA continued its strike after October 9th, although they released a joint statement with the AMPTP that their negotiations would continue on October 24th. On October 29, SAG announced that negotiations would be paused on October 30 while both groups considered potential offers[42].

November 2023

In an announcement on November 8, SAG-AFTRA negotiators approved a tentative agreement. The union said the 118-day strike would officially end at 12:01 a.m. on November 9. The union’s negotiating committee approved the deal on a unanimous vote. The SAG-AFTRA national board approved the deal on November 10.[45]

American Media Coverage


Between November 2022 and November 2023, Deadline published approximately 286 articles on the strike. On November 7th 2022, the first article of many was published, months before the onset of the strike. Entitled WGA Sets Contract Negotiating Committee As Potential Writers Strike Looms, the article warned of the impending strike that would greatly impact WGA East (New York) and WGA West (Los Angeles).[46] As the strike continued, Deadline began publishing more and more content, with a continued focus on stories on halted U.S. film and television productions such as Hysteria!.[47] On June 13, 2023, an article focused on a Canadian talent agency known as APA, which suffered employment cuts due to the strike, leading to 80 per cent of its assistants and staff being laid off from work.[48] The following day, June 14, 2023, Deadline wrote a piece which looked at the effects on the UK’s film industry, where in London, a new UTA office was predicted only to enhance London’s industry despite the ongoing strike.[49] As the strike persisted into the summer, Deadline appeared to steer its focus toward how other members of the industry in the U.S. (candidates for the WGA election, studio executives, actors and actresses) were responding to the strike. Interestingly, Drew Barrymore was featured in several of Deadline’s articles when it came out that her show would return to production despite the writers having not yet reached an agreement.[50] This sparked immense controversy, and she received immense backlash from the union. Some productions were revealed as not being impacted as much as others, such as Jeopardy, which had to move its tournament of champions.[51] That being said, its network was covered under SAG-AFTRA, so it could continue filming during the strikes, Deadline reported.[52] On September 24, 2023, Deadline featured the finality of the strikes, discussing the tentative deal that was struck between WGA and AMPTP.[53] Over in Europe, the Amblin Partners, a company spearheaded by American director, producer, and screenwriter Stephen Spielberg, welcomed the writers' deal during the annual San Sebastian International Film Festival, located in Spain, reported Deadline.[54] As the end of the WGA strike came to a head, Deadline continued to cover surrounding effects and steps being taken by members of the U.S. film industry. For instance, on September 27, 2023, an article featured HBO Max CEO and Chairman Casey Bloys commenting on the end of the strike.[55] It discussed Bloy’s relief that the strike is over, his plans for HBO, and how he termed the strike as an “existential” moment.[56] Later, on November 1, 2023, Deadline covered how the effects of the strike continue to have an impact as they affect the WGA Awards, which are anticipated to be delayed by more than a month, taking place in April 2024.[57]

Vanity Fair

Between April 2023 and October 2023, Vanity Fair published approximately 55 articles covering the strike. Comparative to other American news outlets, Vanity Fair was considerably late to the game when introducing the strike to its readers, with its first article on April 11, 2023. Vanity Fair introduced the strike to its readers, laying out what it meant for the film and television industry in America, and also predicted what was to come.[58] As the strike progressed, actress and television host Drew Barrymore appeared as a centric character in Vanity Fair, with approximately seven articles covering her controversial decision to continue her CBS show without writers.[59] These articles were published in rapid succession between Sep. 10th 2023[60], and September 18, 2023[61]. On October 24, 2023, the article “As Actors Strike Drags On, DeSpair Descends on Hollywood” provided a primary example of the American-focused narrative that Vanity Fair maintained throughout its coverage of the strike. At times, some of Vanity Fair’s articles relied heavily on American A-list celebrities such as George Clooney[62], Jimmy Kimmel[63], Bill Maher[64], and Willem Dafoe[65] to elevate reader awareness of the strike.

The New York Times

Images and statements by notable actors and film executives of the U.S. flooded the pages of The New York Times, week after week, for the duration of the strike. Overall, the New York Times published approximately 148 articles on the strike, with a direct focus on the American film industry. On April 7, 2023, they published the first of many articles, entitled Hollywood Writers Approve of Strike as Shutdown Looms[66]. As the strike developed, The New York Times published an array of articles covering topics such as: WGA merchandise[67], Tony Awards[68], The Tonight Show hosted by Jimmy Fallon[69], and the Drew Barrymore controversy, as covered by other sources.[70] In some articles, The New York Times strove to summarize the events of the strike, detailing where the striking writers stood in opposition to the WGA negotiating committee.[71] Actress and television host Drew Barrymore, was featured in several of The New York Times’ articles, published on September 11[72], September 12[73], September 15[74], September 17[75], and September 22[76], for her controversial decision to resume filming during the strike. As a tentative deal began to come into play, the New York Times followed the strike more closely, publishing seven articles on the reached agreement between September 25, 2023[77] and September 27, 2023[78]. In terms of covering the strike in a Canadian context, The New York Times published approximately only two articles on how the effects of the strike rippled into Canada, the first on July 21, 2023[79], and the second on September 13, 2023[80]. The first article, published on July 21, 2023, looked at how SAG-AFTRA had allowed influencers to join the union. Thus, some social media influencers in Canada had been directly impacted by the strike and its proceedings.[81]The second article, published on September 15, 2023, discussed how many Canadian actors had turned to directing, as seen at the Toronto Film Festival, perhaps as a result of the strike.[82]

The Hollywood Reporter

Living up to its name, The Hollywood Reporter covered the strike mostly in the context of Hollywood, producing approximately 464 articles throughout the Hollywood guilds strike. The legacy outlet offered readers a day-by-day play of the strike and its developments, primarily highlighting its adverse effects on productions, actors, and writers in the industry. Some of the articles were written by WGA members, offering an intimate look into the strike and the trials and tribulations faced by its members. For instance, Mahyad Tousi wrote how the strike had impacted her financial stability, with her landlord exploiting her bi-coastal career and two years of COVID lockdowns to evict her family from their home of 20 years.[83] For the most part, the tone of The Hollywood Reporter supports the efforts of striking members and the trajectory of the strike. Much of The Hollywood Reporter’s coverage narrowed in on the impact the strike had on American productions, which were halted during the strike and produced by networks such as CBS, Fox, NBC, CW, and ABC.[84] One of the articles focusing on Canada, specifically Vancouver, spoke to the film industry in BC and its negative environmental footprint due to productions using diesel generators - framing Canadian crew members in an unsavoury light.[85] However, several other articles focusing on Canada's relationship to the strike were published on March 30[86], May 2[87], June 5[88], June 30[89], July 14[90], July 17[91], August 25[92], September 25[93], and October 12[94]. These articles included detailed coverage of how the Writers Guild of Canada was responding to the strike, with a comment from a representative of the guild stating: “The combined strikes have had a detrimental impact on production in Canada. While we wait for the WGA deal to be released and ratified, we hope for a speedy resolution with SAG-AFTRA.”[95]

Canadian Media Coverage


CBC took a Canadian-focused approach to covering the American strikes. Although sharing a lot of similar reporting to other outlets on the fundamentals of the strike, CBC made a point of platforming Canadians about how their livelihoods have been affected. There are many examples of contextualizing the strike through its impact on the local film workers with a distinct focus on below-the-line workers. An excellent example of this is an article published Sept 15, 2023. In the article, CBC profiles a local props house and the effect of the strike on its business and the owner's well-being.[96] Another example is an article highlighting a family-run catering business struggling to pivot after the strike.[97] CBC also ran a story highlighting similar issues affecting local unions. CBC made a point of noting that although this strike is strictly regarding American unions, many Canadian unions were striking in solidarity. They even interviewed the WGC to compare and contrast writers' challenges in different markets.[98]The coverage has been extensive and cross-platform, with articles, on-air presentations and podcast episodes committed to the strike and its effects on the Canadian film industry.


CTV News discussed the impacts of the Hollywood strikes from a Canadian perspective. One video titled, Strikes to keep stars away from TIFF, produced by CTV during the strikes addressed the changes that had to be made to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) as a result of many actors not being present as a result of the strikes[99]. Other articles, like Hollywood writers strike sparks uncertainty for Canadian television crews, were focused primarily on the financial problems that the strike was creating for many Canadians in the industry[100]. In particular, these articles tended to highlight monetary losses in major Canadian cities with prominent film industries, such as Vancouver, Toronto, and Halifax. CTV News did not take an outright position on the strike, but by showing primarily the negative economic influence of the strike on Canadians, it indicated support for a quick resolution.[101]

Global News

Since the onset of the strike, Global News has continuously reported on its events and the effects it has had on members of the film industry. However, coverage appears to be equally divided between the American and Canadian industries. Articles discussing the strike in Canada have been categorized, alternating under three different slugs: entertainment, economy, or Canada. Some articles have taken a lighter approach, discussing various subjects related to the strike, such as actors' clothing auctions on EBay[102], and late-night television shows.[103] Other articles have led with the strike indicated in the title yet deviate toward a different topic altogether. For instance, an article on October 20, 2023, examined the strict rules surrounding actors' Halloween costumes[104]. Global News has mainly cited sources from AMPTP, Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. In an article published on August 4, 2023, focused on the negative impact the strike was having on other businesses and sectors in Vancouver, citing how the halt in production was “taking a toll on florists, caterers, costume suppliers and other small businesses that support the entertainment industry.”[105] Much of the coverage by Global News referenced industry executives from California, with statements revealing the detrimental impact it had on members of the American film industry, such as how “11,500 members of the Writers Guild of America walked off the job May 2 over issues of pay, the size of writing staff on shows and the use of artificial intelligence in the creation of scripts”.[106] One article, published on July 19, 2023, emphasized Canadian crew member's role in the strike, with the title Why the Hollywood strike is already ‘a big deal’ for Canada’s film industry.[107] Evidently, the strike was being felt on both sides of the border, which Global News strove to reflect.

Vancouver Sun

The Vancouver Sun, as a local daily broadsheet, has been covering the strike closely with articles published every month (except June) April onwards. Initially, before the strikes were announced[108], the focus was on the potential impact of the strikes on the B.C. film industry. Articles emphasised the reliance on U.S. productions for employment, revenue, and the potential threat of a de facto strike in Vancouver. The articles consistently feature perspectives[109] from key industry figures[110] such as producer Shawn Williamson, union representatives like Crystal Braunwarth and Ellie Harvie, and various actors, highlighting concerns, hopes, and impacts.[111] This local coverage could be attributed to the fact that this is a local publication in the city known as Hollywood North. As the strikes progressed, the coverage delved deeper into the the complexities of labor negotiations and strike solidarity. A recurring tension between perspectives is also highlighted, notably showcased through an open letter from Canadian actors and diverging opinions within the local union regarding contract extensions.[112] [113] The articles also progressively broaden their scope, exploring impacts on supporting industries like location management, hair departments, food services, and extras/background performers.[114] Again, this more detailed coverage could be due to the Vancouver Sun being a local newspaper. Throughout, there's an evolving narrative capturing the shifting dynamics of solidarity[115], negotiations[116], breakdowns in talks[117], implications, and the eventual conclusion of the strikes[118].

The Tyee

The Tyee posted two articles throughout the strike, one of which was originally published in The Conversation, a Toronto-based news outlet.

An article from July 24 reports on the Actors joining the strike on July 14. The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists stated they stand with the SAG-AFTRA st~rike. As a key focus of the strike is on the use of AI, this article discusses the threats to actors and their work such as using AI generative images of actors. “Their livelihoods depend on their identity.” They emphasize the importance of actors having control over their image and should receive fair compensation for it. This article goes on to examine potential positive outcomes for Canadian work, such as markets aside from the US purchasing Canadian content, and how this could be a good time to step up and continue to showcase that Canada has always been an “innovator in entertainment”. [119] 

An article published on August 7 talks about the point of view of Canadian workers in BC. They mention that they knew this was coming, and projects had been halted before the strike began. According to CreativeBC, this was a $3.6 billion industry in 2022 and employed more than 40,000 workers throughout the province - excluding freelancers. This strike doesn’t just affect American productions that work in BC; it also hinders BC productions that employ members of U.S. unions. They aren’t able to work as there is no work to be found, but they also can’t join in the strike with their neighbours as they are each represented by different unions.

It goes on to mention the renegotiations of agreements between Canadian unions are expiring in March 2024. This is causing stress around the possibility of, once this SAG-AFTRA strike ends, they may be hesitant to work up north if these Canadian unions have a possibility for further labour disputes. As well, this current lack of work makes those 2024 renegotiations more difficult for substantial gains. “It’s not a good position to be entering negotiations when your members are not working…The producers can undersell you there knowing the membership is eager for work” Ellie Harvie said, the president of the Union of BC Performers.[120]

Summary of Results

American media outlets, such as Deadline, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, and The Hollywood Reporter, had a heavy focus on the strike's impact on American productions, industry figures, and celebrity involvement. Primarily emphasizing the disruption caused to US markets, while they also extensively covered negotiations, agreements, and reactions within the American film and TV industry. While they rarely referenced Canadian effects, it was typically in relation to how the strike impacted Canadian groups or events like the Writers Guild of Canada or the Toronto Film Festival.

In contrast, Canadian media outlets such as CBC, CTV, Global News, Vancouver Sun, and The Tyee took a more localized approach. Their coverage pertained to how the strike affected Canada's film industry on an individual level. They highlighted stories of local businesses, unions, and workers struggling due to the strike's impact on productions while making a point on the solidarity between Canadian and American unions. These outlets also examined the potential long-term effects on Canadian productions, the industry's dependence on American projects, and the challenges faced by Canadian unions amidst their own ongoing negotiations.

Overall, the American coverage tended to focus on the strike's effects across the US entertainment industry, with the occasional mention of Canada’s involvement. While Canadian outlets highlighted the localized repercussions, shedding light on how the strike directly affected Canadian film workers, businesses, and their own unions.


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