As the SAG-AFTRA strike stretches past day 100, small businesses are struggling more than ever to keep their doors open.
Hollywood production remains at a standstill and the owner of a prop store is speaking out about the impacts the ongoing strike is having on businesses like his.
Marc Meyer, the owner of Faux Library Studio Props, says he’s been helping studios create Hollywood magic for decades, but fears that his business may not survive much longer if striking actors and studios can’t reach an agreement soon.
Over the course of 30 years, Meyer has collected a warehouse of period piece treasures that he uses to dress film and television sets. The Hollywood strike has slammed his business to a screeching halt.
“We usually have 15 or 20 trucks a day come through here and they would pick different set dressings or desks and furniture and books,” Meyer said. “The landlord keeps saying, ‘what am I gonna do, what is he going to do, because he’s not getting any income from this building.’”
Meyer had to lay off all but one of his 15 employees, many of whom had been with him for over a decade and many who are now on unemployment.
“It breaks my heart,” Meyer said. “And every call I get I say ‘Oh hi, how are you? What’s happening? How is your family?’ And you know, I get worried.”
According to the California Film Commission, the film and TV business employs more than 700,000 jobs statewide and thousands more across the country. Economists estimate the economic impact of the strike has surpassed a crushing $5 billion dollars which includes revenue loss from supporting businesses.
“It’s very upsetting,” Meyer said. “You would think they would understand that all of these side businesses that support the studios, that they are hurting.”
Members of the SAG-AFTRA Actors Union went on strike 100 days ago to demand fair wages that keep up with inflation, protections against artificial intelligence, and a revamped streaming residual structure that fairly compensates creators for the reuse of their work.
“I would think that the producers would consider giving up a little bit to pay everybody,” Meyer said. “I mean everybody needs to be paid in this industry. Everybody can’t be making hand-over-fist money. Just get back to work guys, come on. We’re all struggling out here. It’s just tough.”
In a joint statement, the Actors Union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said that negotiations will resume on Tuesday.
To support Meyer and help raise funds to keep his business open, visit his GoFundMe at https://gofund.me/23dd5edb.