The AWD gathering at Disney today supporting the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike was a fantastic kickoff for my [hopefully not too many] more picketing days to come. As a filmmaker and director, I was thrilled to connect with fellow creatives and dive into their incredible journeys while walking the outer premises of Disney (approximately 1500 steps!). Among the many memorable conversations, one stood out in particular - my delightful chat with the multi-talented actor and entrepreneur, Adam Shapiro.
The fight against low wages, lack of residuals, AI regulations, and much more. #Solidarity
As an ardent admirer of his work in "Never Have I Ever," I couldn't have been more ecstatic to speak with Adam. He generously shared his experiences with the show and shed light on the pressing issues facing the entertainment industry. Adam expressed his concerns highlighting critical concerns such as low pay, the lack of residuals, and the unfortunate marginalization of non-series regulars.
Adam's candidness was eye-opening as he revealed the hardships actors face, even on successful shows like "Never Have I Ever." Despite his significant contribution to the series, he faced the need to juggle other projects to make ends meet. It's astonishing to realize that someone so talented and dedicated had to work extra simply to sustain themselves financially. Adam showed up with his company, Shappy Pretzel (a Pittsburgh style pretzel business born during the pandemic) to provide pretzels for the strikers!
Almost 100th day of Collective Action
The strike has now reached a significant milestone, with next Wednesday marking the 100th day of collective action. The members of the industry are united in their pursuit of fair compensation, reasonable streaming residuals, and appropriate regulations on AI usage.
As filmmakers, directors, actors, and creatives, we must stand together and advocate for positive change. Let us hope that this pivotal moment will pave the way for a more equitable and prosperous entertainment industry for all involved.
Aug 4, 2023 AWD Strike at Disney
Article credit: Christine Chen (https://www.christinewchen.com/blog/2023/8/4/picketing-at-disney-with-awd-and-memorable-encounters)