Members of SAG-AFTRA and WGA rally on the picket line in Los Angeles on July 14, 2023.

(Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

US Voters Overwhelmingly Support Striking Actors' and Writers' Demands: Poll

"Even a plurality of voters who have an unfavorable opinion of labor unions (48%) support the strikes."

Two-thirds of likely U.S. voters support the ongoing writers' and actors' union strikes, while an overwhelming majority of voters across party lines agree with the strikers' demands, according to a Data For Progress poll published Friday.

The poll found 67% overall support for the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strikes, while just 18% of respondents opposed the actions.

Likely Democratic voters showed the strongest support for the strikes, at 82%, while 68% of Independents and 49% of Republicans back the labor stoppage.

"Even a plurality of voters who have an unfavorable opinion of labor unions (48%) support the strikes," Data for Progress noted.

Voters also overwhelmingly agree with the strikers' demands:

  • 87% agree that actors and writers should receive the appropriate compensation when their work continues to earn money for corporations from reruns or streaming;
  • 85% agree that actors have the right to their own images, voice, and likeness, and must be ensured consent and fair compensation when any of it is used with artificial intelligence;
  • 82% agree that major Hollywood studios and streamers, such as NBCUniversal, Netflix, Amazon, Disney, and Paramount, should guarantee that screenwriters, actors, and other media professionals are fairly compensated for the streaming revenue generated from their work;
  • 74% agree that Hollywood studios should be prohibited from replacing human writers with artificial intelligence tools for the purpose of writing material for movies and TV shows; and
  • 72% agree that TV actors and writers should receive fair compensation and employment terms that account for the shorter seasons and longer hiatuses between seasons on streaming services.

On the other hand, only 21% of survey respondents said they have a favorable view of Hollywood studios.

SAG-AFTRA national executive director and chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said in a statement: "The data shows that most people understand why the union was forced to go on strike. I suspect many are seeing the same dynamic playing out in their own lives, with employers undervaluing their contributions."

"That's why this fight is so important," he added. "Our demands aren't unreasonable, and it's a fundamental principle of fairness that workers should be fairly compensated for the value they bring their employer—in every industry."

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