On the evening of Thursday, September 28th UCF Film hosted a panel discussion called “Writer and Actor Strikes in the Streaming Media Landscape.”  About 125 students attended the panel in the Psychology Building Auditorium.  Dr. Lisa Mills, Professor of Film and Assistant Director of the Film and Mass Media Program, moderated the event after presenting a brief contextual presentation on changes in the streaming media landscape that have brought about the writers’ and actors’ strikes. Mr. Barry Sandler, Associate Professor of Film, spoke about his experience walking the picket line in front of CBS Studios over the summer.  Sandler, an accomplished and award-winning screenwriter, is a member of the Writers Guild of America.  Also lending their perspectives to the panel were local actor and Screen Actors Guild member Adam Vernier, Evan Caldwell of the Central Florida Labor Council, and Mr. Michael Viera, Executive Director of the Miami SAG-AFTRA chapter.  Mr. Viera joined the panel via Zoom. 

“These strikes are happening for the future of the film and television industry… our students.” said Sandler.  “We want to make sure our students can earn a living wage, and that includes residuals from programs on streaming platforms.  Writers cannot and should not be replaced by artificial intelligence.” 

On October 9th, the Writers Guild of American announced its strike officially ended with 99% of members ratifying a 3-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.  However, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists remained on strike as of October 13th.  

By Dr. Lisa Mills.

Published to Nicholson News on November 2nd, 2023.

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