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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Friday, April 19, 2024

The Power of the Pen: What happens with the delays?

Even with one of the strikes over, the delays have continued.

graphic for Odessa Gaine's column "The Power of the Pen"

Graphic by Shea Tomac

Although the writers’ strike has come to an end, its lingering effects, as well as the ongoing SAG-AFTRA actors’ strike, have caused many delays in television and movies. 

The strikes have not only caused delays in writers’ rooms, but also on sets and in promotional activities. By going on strike, the actors agreed to walk out of their current projects per SAG guidelines. As such, the cast of “Barbie” (2023) cut their promotional tour short on July 14 when the strike officially began.  

Actors on strike include those in film, daytime and late night television, new media, and radio broadcasters.

Also included in SAG-AFTRA are voice actors, whose contracts guarantee minimum rates for wages, health insurance, life insurance, retirement and other benefits. The guild represents voice actors in animation as well as video games, commercials, documentaries, trailers and more. 

With production paused, we are seeing many delays in real-time of major movies and TV shows. “Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse” has lost its original March 2024 release date and is now delayed indefinitely. “Beetlejuice 2” has a tentative release date of Sept. 6, 2024 after the on-set production delays. “Challengers” starring Zendaya was set to release Sept. 15 — with a trailer released in late June — but was pushed back to April 26, 2024.

In the world of television, “Abbott Elementary” (2021) was also pushed back indefinitely at the beginning of the writers’ strike, with plans still unclear even after the writers returned to work at the start of October. The final season of “Stranger Things” (2016) has also been postponed indefinitely, most likely to be released in 2025 at the earliest. Even another Netflix hit, “Cobra Kai” (2018) is expected to hit screens later than originally intended.

Award shows have not been spared either. The 75th Emmy Awards were pushed back to January 2024, while other ceremonies went forward without scripts, such as the 76th Tony Awards. 

There have, however, been about 200 productions not paused by the strikes. Upcoming films such as “Death of a Unicorn” starring Paul Rudd and Jenna Ortega have been given the go-ahead to continue filming from SAG-AFTRA. Many of the films that were given this kind of clearance are independent films that have “interim agreements” for actors to continue work. Some larger productions, like those of A24, have also agreed to SAG’s terms — the same terms still being negotiated with major studios.  

As much as we may be feeling disappointed at the delays in production, the past and ongoing strikes are needed to demand fair work and wages for entertainment workers. Until studios decide to give SAG-AFTRA what they have fairly earned and deserve, they will continue to suffer from their own greed.