Hollywood writers may be returning to work after reaching a new agreement with the major media studios, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t already been a toll on people who work in the industry.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor’s monthly employment report, the motion picture and sound recording industries shed another 7,000 positions in September. Since the Writers Guild of America strikes began in May, the entertainment industry has lost 45,000 jobs.

It’s a stunning figure that underscores the impact that these work stoppages have had on everyone from the writers to the actors who joined them on the picket lines in July. Both strikes are the result of the industry’s enormous transition toward streaming, which necessitated a new method of determining how writers and actors should be compensated because it differed so drastically from the conventional broadcast model.

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While the writers strike has ended, the SAG-AFTRA strike continues, though union representatives met with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers — which represents studios such as Disney, Netflix, and Warner Bros. Discovery — earlier this week, the first time they resumed talks since July.

The actors, like the authors, want higher pay, especially at the entry level, and more openness about how successful a program is on streaming. They are also demanding safeguards against the use of artificial intelligence. Many of the requests are identical to those sought by the writers, giving some hope that this second agreement may be achieved as well.


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