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Morning Brief: A Hollywood Strike, Mental Health Care, And Fright Fest

A photo of the Hollywood sign during the daytime.
The Hollywood sign
(David McNew
Getty Images North America)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Oct. 5.

If you’ve spent any time around the film industry — or even if you haven't — you probably know that movies and TV shows don’t get made without the hundreds of workers whose names aren’t splashed across billboards or marquees. Hair and makeup, lighting experts, editors and more are the reason the rest of the world can enjoy a night in with Netflix, or a night out at the movie theater.

But those workers report experiencing grueling working conditions: 12-hour days or longer (sometimes *much* longer), catering to the whims of talent, and unlivable wages.

And so, as other realms of Hollywood push for greater equity, so too does this group of employees. Represented by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, so-called below-the-line workers voted yesterday to authorize a strike.

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More than 98% of IATSE members gave negotiators the right to order a work stoppage, with their primary goals being better and safer work conditions and higher wages.

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It’s the first time in IATSE’s 128-year history the guild has voted for a nationwide strike, and it could be devastating for the industry as it hobbles out of the financial damage caused by COVID-19. But crew workers are clear: something has to give. 

“Our people have basic human needs like time for meal breaks, adequate sleep, and a weekend,” said Matthew Loeb, the IATSE president, in a statement. “For those at the bottom of the pay scale, they deserve nothing less than a living wage.”

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go ... This Week's Outdoor Pick: Fright Fest

an image is projected onto a movie screen set up at night on a rooftop as people sit in chairs and watch
Fright Fest at Melrose Rooftop Theatre screens Halloween-themed flicks all month long.
(Courtesy of Melrose Rooftop Theatre)

The Melrose Rooftop Cinema screens scary movies all month long for Fright Fest. Titles this week include Hocus Pocus (Oct. 4), The Silence of the Lambs (Oct. 5), I Know What You Did Last Summer (Oct. 6) and Labyrinth (Oct. 7). For a better deal, buy the dinner and movie option, which includes a three-course tasting menu.

Or, you could: Watch Dave Chappelle and his documentary — in-person. Shellabrate National Taco Day. Beam yourself into a Star Trek exhibition. Check out a South Bay artwalk. And more.

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