Hollywood writer striker Tom Hanks: Evolutionary crossroads 2023

As he backed striking Hollywood writers, Tom Hanks called society “an evolutionary crossroads.”

The 66-year-old US actor touring his new novel The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece said he was on strike too.

After their contracts expired, 11,000 WGA members went on strike.

The union wants better minimum compensation, more writers per program, and less exclusivity on single projects, all of which it claims have been eroded by the streaming content explosion.

Hanks discussed his novel at a Monday LA event.

He contrasted the current walkout to the 1980s strike he participated in and the emergence of home video and streaming services.

He stated the home video was a new cash stream.

VHS had been developed and they understood there would be this stream of wealth that had never been in the company before. They wanted to know what was coming.

“It’s been about understanding that a new thing was coming down—let’s figure out what that pie is.

Streaming’s economics are well known. How that pie affects the sector is at an evolutionary crossroads.”

He continued: “And when I talk about the pie I’m talking about the new place that society is in, in which there are so many options for entertainment that (there’s) this ‘new concept’ is that we all now have to want to do – something very unique that used to be very standard in our lives.

“The unique thing is we leave our house, drive to a place, be there at 7.45 pm, park the car, buy a ticket, get the diet coke, and sit in a room of strangers to watch a movie.

“That is lower on the food chain now.”

“So, I am a member of every guild there is and I am on strike because this is going to have to be determined.

“Not just for the future of bread-and-butter issues that affect us all but also for the arts and sciences of motion pictures.”

The strike has already hurt major Hollywood productions and events including the 2023 MTV Movie and TV Awards and the Tony Awards.

Hanks talked about how his job inspired his novel, which is about the creation of a multimillion-dollar superhero action film.

Hanks told the BBC that the book was a “release from the never-ending pressure” of filmmaking.

He stated that several of the book’s characters, including an eccentric director and self-important actor, were modeled on his own behavior.

Uncommon Type, Hanks’ 2017 short story book, sold over 200,000 copies in the UK.

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