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Sep 20, 2023, 1:17pm EDT
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Hollywood strikes continue to have global impacts

Signs at a SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild of America rally
REUTERS/ Mario Anzuoni
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The union representing screenwriters is resuming negotiations with studios on Wednesday, as strikes involving Hollywood’s writers and actors drag on.

The strikes have effectively put Hollywood on pause, and continue to impact entertainment industries around the world.

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Hollywood productions are critical to the U.K.‘s film industry, but several big-budget movies, including Deadpool 3 and Wicked, have been put on hold. The total number of productions affected is relatively small, The New York Times reported this week, but they employ thousands of workers. “There are people who are suffering in the U.K.,” said the head of a charity group for film and TV workers.1

Production companies in Ireland, Greece, and Canada are also bracing for a slowdown, with one filmmaker telling the Guardian that the Canadian entertainment industry is dependent on American writers and actors.2 In New Zealand, workers are keeping an eye on the deliberations in Hollywood, and industry members say the country should focus on shooting local content to counter a possible dearth of Hollywood productions.3

Not every major international production has been shut down. Season 2 of the Game of Thrones prequel The House of the Dragon is continuing to shoot in Europe because scripts were completed before the writers’ strike and the actors are part of a British union that isn’t striking. Creator George R. R. Martin explained on his blog that British law bars the local actors from striking in sympathy with their American counterparts. “If they walk, they have no protection against being fired,” Martin wrote.4

Meanwhile, American TV viewers will be exposed to more international content this fall. To plug holes in their lineup left by strike-affected shows, major broadcast networks are relying on reality content, sports, and scripted shows produced outside the U.S. That includes NCIS: Sydney and the U.K. version of Ghosts on CBS, and Canadian show The Spencer Sisters on the CW.5

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