Media Localization Breathes Sigh of Relief as Hollywood Strikes End

Media Localization Strike End

The Hollywood writers and actors strike is over. Having lasted over four months and ended thanks to an agreement reached on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, this was the longest strike in the history of industry union SAG-AFTRA.

The strike began in the spring of 2023, with screenwriters joining from July to September. It marked the first time since 1960 that both actors and writers had gone on strike, effectively stopping production for all major studios.

According to the Associated Press (AP), Union members are expected to move forward and resume TV and film production with a three-year contract in hand (which must still be approved by the board of the union and all members).

As Slator reported in August 2023, some big players in the media localization sector were feeling the effects of the strike in tangible ways. ZOO Digital’s shares took a tumble during the slump but now rallied 30% on the news of the strike’s end.

Others, like Iyuno, were able to do business as usual thanks in part to a shift in strategy on the Netflix streaming services end, which resorted to dubbing and subtitling locally-produced works from South Korea, Germany, and Turkey, among others. In fact, the California-based media localization company is about to complete work on a new Burbank office.

The AP reports that the contract is said to be valued at over a billion dollars, including minimum payment raises and an increase in the streaming revenue share for actors. Also included are benefits and safeguards against the use of artificial intelligence “for recreating performances,” the latter becoming a main factor in the negotiations.

The new contract also signals that projects will resume for many dubbing and subtitling companies, but the AP also points out that production will restart slowly and it may take months to return to a “normal” workload for all involved.