Don't Boycott Movies or TV During Strike, Neil Gaiman Says

Should you boycott movies or TV shows to support striking actors and writers during the strike? One of Hollywood’s most prolific writers, Neil Gaiman, says no.

The WGA and SAG-AFTRA have committed to not adding any more work to the big studios’ production pipeline during the strike. But they have not asked audiences to boycott studios’ current films.

Gaiman, whose credits include Beowulf, Coraline, the Starz series American Gods and the Netflix series The Sandman, was asked by a fan on Tumblr about fellow followers who didn’t want to “cross the picket line” by going to the movies.

Neil Gaiman Says Explains

Gaiman replied: “The WGA has not called for anyone to boycott any of the streamers or to stop their streaming services yet. It’s not ‘crossing the picket line’ to watch something on a network that we are striking against. (‘Crossing a picket line’ is a very real, specific thing with a real meaning.)

“I’ve seen it being discussed, but until the WGA calls for it, I don’t suggest doing it.”

In fact, many have noted, striking could strengthen studios bargaining position: If they have a bad summer season, they can argue with more credibility that they simply can’t afford to meet actors and writers’ demands.

Long story short: It’s perfectly okay do do Barbenheimer this weekend. Neil Gaiman says so.

What Do Striking Writers and Actors Want?

The Writers Guild of America has been on strike since May, and actors represented by the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists joined them on the picket lines last week, grinding Hollywood to a near-total halt.

Actors and writers are striking over many issues involving the evolving ways we consume entertainment. In addition to better wages, they want changes to streaming revenue sharing and safeguards around the use of artificial intelligence in the entertainment industry.

Here is a list of the WGA’s demands, and here are SAG-AFTRA’s.

In response to the 160,000-member SAG-AFTRA going on strike last week, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, aka AMPTP, released a statement saying it had offered “historic pay and residual increases, substantially higher caps on pension and health contributions, audition protections, shortened series option periods, and a groundbreaking AI proposal that protects actors’ digital likenesses for SAG-AFTRA members.”

Main image: Tom Sturridge in Netflix’s The Sandman, created by Neil Gaiman.