Hollywood Died and Nobody Noticed

Phaylen Fairchild
4 min readJul 19, 2023

It isn’t just a strike, it’s a tipping point that will define an entire industry forever.

Although this isn’t my typical beat, as a writer, it has personally impacted myself and most of my friends. It isn’t a typical strike, where there is conflict of pay raises or residuals increased due to the sudden rise of the stream wars- this is much bigger and far more monumental than anything that has happened in Hollywood since the McCarthy era that saw hundreds of working actors, writers, directors and producers blacklisted after allegations of supporting communism. Iconic comedian Lucille Ball is perhaps one of the best known stars of yesteryear to face such an accusation head on and win, while other stars languished and eventually vanished into obscurity.

As reported by mainstream industry media, Studio head have confessed that their strategy with regard to renegotiating the Writer’s Guild contract was to let them strike until they lost their homes, vehicles and are swallowed whole by debt as a direct result of being unable to seek gainful employment as signatory members.

Studios have slowly turned up the temperature on writers and actors over the past decade as streaming surfaces usurped typical theatrical releases, with Zack Snyder’s Justice League leading the pack in a 2021 HBO Max release that broke records.

The problem has remained persistent however, in that contracts are outdated and while big name Studios like Warner Bros. and Disney rake in billions, the writers with whom a story starts were not a beneficiary of streaming dividends, which led many writers to suggest that the Writer’s Guild implement consideration for the dramatically shifting terrain of how their work is experienced. While the CEO’s of studios have taken massive paychecks off the backs of writer and actors, many of the latter are left in survival mode. The myth that industry screenwriters has finally been washed away by the reality we’re faced with as countless writers are sharing residual checks for past films that often equal no more than a dollar… for films that have grossed half a billion or more.

The studios believe that AI technology, as it has evolved more recently, can achieve the same results for free that they once had to pay writers to do. This terrifying development puts far more…

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Phaylen Fairchild

Actor, Filmmaker, LGBTQ+ & Women’s Rights Activist All work copyright phaylens@gmail.com