How the Streaming Boom Is Driving the Push for an Unprecedented Hollywood Strike

“Below-the-line” workers are the makeup artists, costume designers, audio technicians, and other crew members working behind the scenes in Hollywood to make your streaming habits possible. And lately, they’ve had enough. After years of putting up with punishing labor conditions, they’re speaking out on social media, sharing stories of long hours, low pay, even deaths on set. Their union, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, or IATSE, is prepared to go on strike if the studios don’t agree to a contract with better worker protections; a major production shutdown could occur as early as next week. On Thursday’s episode of What Next, I talked to Los Angeles Times entertainment industry reporter Anousha Sakoui about how the streaming boom pushed TV and film crews to a breaking point and what a strike could mean for viewers. Our conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.

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