The Pack

Tuscarora's Student News

The Pack

The Pack

Los Angeles or Lost Angeles?

What Hollywood strikes mean for our favorite shows.
Photo credit Soly Mose


Windows infested with swarthy plants adorn buildings that list sideways under a hazy sky. In this world, fungus overruns the human race in apocalyptic settings. Will humanity survive? Will this zombie-strewn world plunge into a dystopia forever? The audience of The Last of Us hangs on to a cliffhanger as they wait, perhaps indefinitely, for the answer when the show’s second season is released. 

In order for it to be released, it has to be filmed, which is questionable at this stage of the Hollywood strikes. Not only is this Hollywood’s longest strike, but it also circles a controversial subject: AI (CBS News).

Viewers of The Last of Us, It Ends with Us, Big Brother, Beetlejuice 2, and the chart-topping show Stranger Things are stalled in their series as production halts (The Washington Post). These shows are among many others. Many know about the strike that’s putting a hold on their shows, but only some know what the strike is about.

Olly Murphy, a junior at Tuscarora and faithful viewer of The Last of Us started watching the show because she played the game and found it enjoyable. The TV show, she mentioned, displayed the aspects of the game well. “It really really roped me in with that first segment that they have about how scientific it is. It tells you how this could happen in real life.” Unfortunately for Murphy and the other die-hard fans, the first season ends on a cliffhanger, leaving many of them hanging on for dear life.

A well-watched TV show, Stranger Things, also experiences similar hold-ups. Betty Higgins, a sophomore at Tuscarora, is one of the many who watch the show and is disappointed that the fifth season will be delayed. When asked what she would miss if the finale of Stranger Things never comes out, she mentions the enjoyable interactions between characters. She says, “I’d miss watching it with my family in the evening together.”

So now you must be wondering, why do I care about the above text? Was it written only for pity points or to make me more anxious for the next show to come out? No, and no, though it’s understandable if you feel the latter.

Both Murphy and Higgins share a couple of things in common, and maybe you do too: their love for their TV show and their want for the next best thing to be released. Murphy approached the situation somewhat informed on what the strikes are about, knowing some small actors who aren’t able to live off of their salary for acting but are also struggling to support themselves as they hold out in the strike. “It’s saddening… You know these actors all want to do what they love… There’s not enough to pay these writers and these small actors that are in it… The third camera assistant. They all matter, but they’re not getting paid [enough],” Murphy sympathizes. She says about The Last of Us,”The actors are definitely very likable. [They] have built friendships off of those things.”

So the hold-up is partially due to small actors getting paid like a part-time job for their full-time job, and that’s why they’re on strike (CBS News). Why not pay the actors their due and get the show on the road? A: It’s more complicated than that money-wise, and B: that’s not the whole reason for the strike.

Underpayment, as a general rule, is a match that starts the flame for strikes. It started during the Industrial Revolution when unions were created to get fair wages and reasonable treatment. So why is this very problem, the cost of Hollywood actors, big or small, the flame making this the longest Hollywood strike? It’s because the present day has created new technology, creating more problems alongside the benefits. Take the industrial revolution again. The water wheel was created for factories, which made production faster, but in the long run, people were hurt and even killed by the machines that made production quicker. In the 21st century, we have something factory workers from the industrial age could only dream about. This central point of the strike can be compressed into an acronym composed of two letters: AI (CBS News).

Hollywood is proposing a new change in the famous film studio that would eliminate the need for small actors. They suppose they can pay off small actors to sell their likeness to them to train AI to replace the small actors as background characters. Think about that. All the credits you skip through at the end. All the names that add 10 minutes to whatever episode you’re watching. That’s so many people out of their jobs, replaced by unemotional, unreal AI.

Before Higgins was aware of this, she was worried about the quality that the AI people would have and the introduction of AI in as big of a franchise as Stranger Things. “If they were not modeled off of real people, I think that it might be okay. But some other people might disagree with that. And it is kind of scary that they can do that very easily. And I think that they would need the consent of the actors to model AI characters off of them and put them in the background and that… [the actors]… should still get some pay for that.”

Hold on. What was that? Backup a moment. “…they would need the consent of the actors…”

The consent of the actors.

One of the reasons for the strike is to protest against the use of AI. Again, all those people in the credits, the names that you skip past, throwing down a red flag at the proposal of AI. That sounds like a resounding ‘no’ to me.

“It’s a worthy cause,” Murphy says about the strike. She loves The Last of Us and says, “I want to see how the world continues on in its way of life and if things get better or if things get worse.” Still, her feelings about the strike haven’t changed. “There are hundreds of people that go into making a production, and all of them matter, and the fact that some of them are not getting the recognition that they deserve, and the pay that they deserve, is a little upsetting because I know people in that situation.”

She says, “No good deed should be unpunished and no person should be left behind.”

After hearing the reason behind the strike and that the strikers are actively protesting against AI, Higgins says, “I think that it’s creepy and that they shouldn’t be doing that. [And] if it’s going to take longer to come out, it should take longer to come out.”

“It’s a shame that if it doesn’t come back out, you don’t get to see those characters interact with each other anymore,” Higgins acknowledges. “They were just fun to see interacting with each other. And it was just kind of a funny, good show.”

Viewers of Stranger Things will most likely have to wait until sometime in 2025 for the finale, according to Man of Many. According to Dexerto, the second season of The Last of Us isn’t supposed to arrive until 2025 as well, but it could be longer because of the strikes. Other shows and movies are being pushed back because of the strikes, many of them probably extending into 2025 as well. One of the movies to have a determined (for now) release date is Dune 2, which was supposed to come out November 3rd and is now being pushed back to March 15, 2024, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Hannah Stine, Staff Writer
Hannah is a sophomore at Tuscarora HIgh School, and this is her first year on the newspaper team as a Staff Writer. She has played volleyball for NVVA since 5th grade. In her free time she's either reading, drawing, writing, or tackling an overload of homework.

Comments (0)

All The Pack Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *