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UCLA Entertainment Law Review

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Tuning Into the On-Demand Streaming Culture—Hollywood Guilds’ Evolution Imperative in Today’s Media Landscape

Abstract

Hollywood television and film production has largely been unionized since the early 1930s.  Today, due in part to technological advances, the industry is much more expansive than it has ever been, yet the Hollywood unions, known as “guilds,” have arguably not evolved at a similar pace.  Although the guilds have adapted to the needs of their members in many aspects, have they successfully adapted to the evolving Hollywood business model?  This Comment puts a focus on the Writers Guild of America, Directors Guild of America, and the Screen Actors Guild, known as SAG-AFTRA following its merger in 2012, and asks whether their respective collective bargaining agreements are out-of-step with the evolution of the industry over the past ten years, particularly in the areas of new media and the direct-to-consumer model.  While analyzing the guilds in the context of the industry environment as it is today, this Comment contends that as the guilds continue to feel more pronounced effects from the evolving media landscape, they will need to adapt at a much more rapid pace than ever before in order to meet the needs of their members.  However only time will reveal whether the current trajectory is idyllic or flawed.

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