(Toronto) Canadian film and television workers are affected by strike by screenwriters and actors in Hollywood.
Derek Baskerville, a Vancouver worker who rents costumes primarily for US film shoots, had to lay off a part-time employee last week and cut the hours of other employees as work dried up.
Toronto agent Karin Martin says many of her clients have not worked since the winter because US studios anticipated the labor dispute and reduced orders.
She represents art directors, cinematographers, executive producers and others who work behind the scenes. She says many are now “frightened and at risk”.
The screenwriters’ guild went on strike on May 2, and the actors’ union followed suit last Friday.
“It’s my family, all these people I represent and they’re scared,” Ms. Martin testified.
“My calls every day aren’t about producers trying to book people. My calls are about my clients that I love and adore, who are scared and at risk. It’s horrible. »
In Vancouver, Baskerville says he had to let one of his part-time employees go because he couldn’t afford to pay him. He reduced two other part-time workers to one day a week and two full-time workers to four days a week instead of five. One of them is on a six-hour day instead of eight.
“It’s been really bad for all of us show business workers for the past four years. And some people didn’t survive, with COVID and now this,” Baskerville argued.
He says he is lucky to have paid off his mortgage and to have personal savings.
“Three of my colleagues are deferring their mortgage payments… And two of them have also spoken to the city about deferring their property taxes for a year,” Baskerville explained.
“One of my colleagues, she had to take her kids out of daycare and summer camp because she couldn’t afford it. It’s summer. The kids want to go to camp. Not this year. »