The entertainment industry has been in and out of the news since May and the start of the writer’s strike. The fight for better conditions isn’t over as actors continue striking and SAG-AFTRA authorizes a strike against the video game industry.
As of last month, visual effects (VFX) workers at Marvel voted to unionize with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). Soon after, Walt Disney Pictures’ VFX workers voted to unionize as well.
The new unions are asking for fair compensation, health care, retirement benefits, and the same rights and protections as their unionized counterparts, according to the IATSE press release. These workers have been responsible for movies like “Pirates of the Caribbean,” live action “Aladdin,” and “Beauty and the Beast.” As of right now, no negotiations have begun, but the creation of these unions is groundbreaking. VFX workers have gone unrepresented since the field was pioneered by “A New Hope.”
The creation of these unions comes at an advantageous time. Studios have been suffering from their own greed for the most of the year as other entertainment-related unions strike. While writers have made a deal, actors have not. Unless productions want the consequences of scabbing, they’ve been brought to a standstill. And now, VFX workers can add their voices to the mix.
Entertainment workers have been fighting for rights and protections for most of the year and are finally starting to see results. More people in the industry are being fought for. Personally, it’s been wonderful to see people standing together for better treatment.
Lynn Spahr is a Hutchinson sophomore studying journalism and is the Opinion Page Editor.