Crew members have complained about long hours, foregone meals and pay equity for those working on what a decade ago was considered “new media” but is now mainstream regarding shows on services like Netflix, HBO Max and Disney+. Producers have been under increased pressure to pump out new content, especially for these streaming services, a problem exacerbated by the pandemic, which shut down production for several months last year.
The strike doesn’t cover every single production. The union has separate agreements representing low-budget films, commercials and certain cable shows from networks such as HBO, Starz and Showtime, which will still be able to shoot.
But it would impact dozens of shows and films shooting now in Georgia such as AMC’s horror drama “The Walking Dead,” Fox’s medical show “The Resident,” ABC’s reboot “The Wonder Years,” Netflix’s “Cobra Kai,” big-budget film “Creed III” with Michael B. Jordan and HBO Max miniseries “The Staircase” starring Colin Firth.
IATSE represents 60,000 members, with 6,000 in Georgia, and covers everyone from hairstylists to wardrobe attendants to animators. Other unions representing the directors, actors and writers support IATSE’s strike and would join them on the sidelines.
Generous tax credits in 2008 for TV and film producers shepherded in a renaissance in shows and movies in the state of Georgia over the past 13 years, bringing in $4 billion in direct spending in the fiscal year ending June 30, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development. This strike would leave thousands of people in the state without work.