Though many on the conservative side understandably have little sympathy for the Hollywood unions on strike, the industry is a major contributor to California’s economy, and there are a lot of conservatives working in the entertainment industry or in adjacent industries whose livelihoods are being severely impacted by the ongoing strike.
California Governor Gavin Newsom tried to intervene or mediate several times since the strike began—first in May, just after the writers union, WGA, began picketing, then in July, after members of the actors union, SAG-AFTRA, started their parallel action—and they told him to go away. If the strikes linger unresolved for many months, it could wreak havoc on the Golden State’s economy:
The last time the writers went on strike more than a decade ago, the 100-day work stoppage cost the state’s economy an estimated $2 billion.
This signals an opportunity to not only show solidarity with those conservatives, but to show the lefties there’s a Republican who not only understands their grievances, but supports them.
L.A. attorney Eric Early ran for state Attorney General in 2022. He is currently running to replace Dianne Feinstein in the U.S. Senate in 2024, the first Republican candidate to announce his intentions back in April. By the gaggle of candidates who have lined up to pick up Feinstein’s mantle, it’s obviously a seat Democrats are eager to hold onto.
To that point, in sharing with RedState his reasons for joining the picket line, Early points out that studio executives are overwhelmingly supporting his Democrat competitors like Adam Schiff and Katie Porter, so how would they really fight for the people on strike?
I am a Republican joining striking writers and actors on the picket line in support of labor’s fight against studio executives who perpetuate the culture war and use Big Tech to leave workers behind. Studio executives have abused their position at the top of the media food chain to push dangerous and damaging far-left cultural ideologies that are dividing our country – all the while supporting politicians like Adam Schiff and Katie Porter with campaign contributions (who remarkably claim they support the folks on strike).
Studio management are pushing certain cultural values onto unsuspecting parents and children. They then use new Big Tech streaming models to depress workers’ wages and make it even more difficult for these workers to live in these increasingly difficult financial times – all while reaping record profits for executives.
Early also reminds people that it was Ronald Reagan who fought on the side of working people, when he helmed the Screen Actors Guild (SAG):
President Ronald Reagan once led SAG-AFTRA and stood toe-to-toe against these same types of executives. They are fighting to earn a living wage and also to protect against the decimation of the industry to which they have devoted their lives. Before I became an attorney, I was post-production supervisor on many animated shows – GI Joe, The Transformers, Jem and the Holograms, My Little Pony and others. While that was not a union position at the time, I knew many people in the trades. I support all of our citizens who are being impacted financially by the ongoing strike: from those in the other trade unions whose jobs are on hold because of the strike to all the small businesses – their employees and owners – who rely on the industry and who are being put out of work by what is occurring.
Indeed, like Early, Mitch Roschelle, the managing director of Madison Ventures+, also namechecks Reagan when noting how similar issues have plagued the union workers’ relationship with the studios for decades:
Ronald Reagan, when he took over the Screen Actors Guild for the second time in 1959, the reason why the board put him back in charge….was a dispute over residuals. What’s the issue or one of the principal issues on the table right now? Residuals. So, this really isn’t anything new.
This fact, more than anything, shines a bright light on the need for conservatives to rethink how to engage with voters in a unique state like California. Looks like some people are beginning to realize this—and act on it.