Jennifer Lawrence, George Clooney and the other actors out on strike in Hollywood are doing it for the underpaid. You may not be aware, but the average annual income for a Sag-Aftra member is approximately $40,000, which is 32% below the national average. That’s pretty slim, when you realize most actors must live in either New York or Los Angeles.
So, good on you, Jen and George and all other highly paid members who walk off their current obligations as a matter of principal. Artificial Intelligence (AI) isn’t going to replace an actor, at least not yet, but it’s a major threat to the writing community, so solidarity is paramount at Paramount.
No one really knows what the effect of AI will be on many areas of the current economy, so I guess we have to feel our way before jumping to too many conclusions. But the bulwark against massive job loss has always been the union movement and unions have been in steep decline for half a century. Honoring another strike’s picket-line has always been the power magnifier and it’s a big deal to see actors join writers.