“If there is no staff in the offices, the clothes don’t fit here; it’s as simple as that,” says Malian. The entrepreneur, whose main source of income comes from the employees of the studios in the luxury city, is affected by the paralysis of the industry. “The bills and expenses remain the same,” explains Malian, 56, adding that this situation causes him concern.
In an attempt to deal with the situation, Malian has reduced the working hours of its eight employees from 12 to 9 hours a day. However, he anticipates that this will not be enough to balance the books. “If this situation continues for several months, I will have to find ways to cover rent and expenses,” he adds.
Writers and actors have abandoned negotiations with the studios and have picketed the facilities in search of contractual improvements, including salary increases and decisions crucial to the future of the profession, such as the use of artificial intelligence.
The strike was called by the Hollywood Writers Guild (WGA) 100 days ago, followed later by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA), which groups 160,000 performers, from leading actors to extras. This standstill in the economic heart of California has had a negative impact on suppliers like Malian, affecting numerous businesses in the area.
The US movie industry has not faced a double strike of this magnitude since 1960. After a period of recovery from the pandemic, contract discussions have generated uncertainty in Hollywood. The suspension of filming, promotions, premieres, and events such as the Emmy Awards gala has contributed to this situation.
California’s economy is heavily dependent on Hollywood, with annual film and television production bringing in $70 billion in salaries. The shutdown of the industry has broader economic repercussions and could continue to affect the local economy for an extended period. The intervention of local politicians, such as the governor of California, reflects the seriousness of the situation and the need for a quick resolution.