Succession star Brian Cox says Hollywood strike could last until end of 2023 and actors may have to ‘go to the brink’ | Ents & Arts News

Jul 14, 2023 | Uncategorized

Succession star Brian Cox has told Sky News the Hollywood actors’ strike could get “very unpleasant” and may not be resolved until the end of the year.

The industry looks set to effectively shut down after actors decided to join an existing walkout by writers.

It means many hit TV shows and movies will have to stop production, while actors will also step promoting films they’ve already made.

Cox told Sky News: “It’s a situation that could get very, very unpleasant. It could go on for quite some time. They’ll take us to the brink and we’ll probably have to go to the brink.

“So it may not be solved… until towards the end of the year.”

The strike is over pay, conditions and concerns over the use of artificial intelligence (AI) – something Cox compared to the “boogeyman”.

Cox, 77, familiar to millions for his role as media mogul Logan Roy, said the technology could lead to a fall in standards.

He said the strike was mainly in support of Hollywood writers because without them “we have nothing… That’s why we have shows like White Lotus, like Succession…”

Scriptwriters have been striking for the last few months, seeking concessions such as higher minimum pay.

The Screen Actors Guild decision to join them means it’s the first time in 63 years both have walked out at the same time.

An estimated 160,000 actors and performers – many of them low-level jobbing actors – are expected to take part – with no end date set.

Cox said one of them main reasons actors are striking is over the ‘residual’ payments they receive when shows and films are repeated.

It’s a particular concern given the growth of streaming services, with many shows now constantly available for repeat viewings.

He said this system had been “failing rapidly” and the payments were vital for funding actors’ health insurance.

“If our residuals go down it means our health insurance isn’t going to be met,” said Cox.

He added: “In a way, the streaming services have shot themselves in the foot because they’ve said ‘oh, we’re going very well on this front’.

“And when we called them to task and said ‘what about our residuals, what about our money?’, everything kind of closes down and… you know, it’s not going to happen.”

With AI now able to convincingly imitate actors’ appearance and voice – a theme taken to the extreme in a recent Black Mirror episode – stars are concerned over potential unauthorised use of their likeness.

It’s another of the reasons why they have decided to walk out.

“One of the problems is with really don’t know enough about it,” Cox told Sky News. “We don’t know the extent to which it can operate. It’s the boogeyman.”

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