Hollywood strikes: Edward James Olmos says writers, actors facing 'probably the most difficult time'

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Thursday, July 20, 2023
Edward James Olmos says writers, actors facing 'most difficult time'
Edward James Olmos voiced his concern over the current state of the entertainment industry, saying "it's probably the most difficult time" for striking actors and writers.

BURBANK, Calif. (KABC) -- Striking Hollywood actors and writers had company on the picket lines Wednesday.

Members of the National Domestic Workers Alliance showed their support for the two strikes that have shut down productions.

Nannies, house cleaners and home care workers picketed outside Warner Brothers Studio in Burbank, alongside members of SAG-AFTRA and WGA.

"We've got reinforcements now. We have validation of everything we're fighting for," WGA member Matthew Okumura told Eyewitness News.

Actors Mary McDonnell and Edward James Olmos joined the picket line. They told Eyewitness News they've never seen actors treated this poorly and won't stop until the studios come to the table.

"It's probably the most difficult time we've had because of AI and because of the understanding of how the producers are actually handling this and saying we're going to hold out until people lose their homes," Olmos said. "That I thought was very, very crude."

"I don't think that this as an industry has every really understood the value of what it is to use your body, your heart and your mind as your product," McDonnell said. "That's kind of why we're running into the AI situation. They think that's replaceable, but it isn't. So maybe at this point being an actor could gain some more honor."

FilmLA released a report Wednesday showing that even before the SAG-AFTRA strike, the WGA strike was impacting the industry.

Film and TV shoot days decreased nearly 29% in the second quarter of 2023 compared to last year. Feature films decreased nearly 19% and TV pilots, dramas and comedies also decreased.

The latest statement from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said a strike was not an outcome it wanted.

"For SAG-AFTRA to assert that we have not been responsive to the needs of its membership is disingenuous at best," AMPTP's statement said in part.