The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) have been on strike since May and June of this year, respectively.
The strikes partially stem from failures to reach new contracts and agreements over streaming royalties, because apparently movie studios can't afford to pay anyone a living wage despite fueling their existences with the work of these artists. Not to mention the massive wage gap between CEO and writer, and how disgusting that is.
Small said the correlation between the two is a fight for moving all the profits away from corporations – and from the idea that art is a promotional item – and back into the hands of the artists who are actually making the art. Small also points out the issue of modern TV networks and their "I'll do whatever for money" attitude, as opposed to when there were ideologies behind programming.
"I'll say this: I agree with the writers and the Guild. I agree with the actors. Do you know what this time feels like to me? This is like when Napster started 20, 25 years ago and there was file-sharing. Everyone was like, 'What happened?' except for Lars. It reminds me of, 'Oh man. I wish musicians could have gotten together and moved the needle the way actors and writers are.' Everything could go away. Corporations aren't known to be sensitive to all these things. They have to be told to negotiate.
"That's what Napster and Spotify could have been. Music would stop being promotional. People had to leave the business years ago and get different jobs. Everything stopped, including the monetization of music. The same thing is happening right now. The streaming world is different from the legacy TV world where I started. I started on network TV on UPN with 'Home Movies', my first show. You'd get your Nielsen ratings and see whether you had a job next week. You were in constant danger of losing everything. That's par for the course, but at least it was fair. You know where you stood. They weren't hiding anything from you. You'd see your ratings and go, 'I think we're in trouble.'
"[Laughs] Technology is changing and everything has to acclimate. This is a crazy time for all these mergers to be happening. The monopolization and going back to legacy TV, and I've been saying this, I was lucky to be part of a network, Adult Swim, where somebody wanted to build something new rather than trying to make content, but that word didn't exist. There was creativity and a little bit of danger and 'fuck you' and lunacy and absurdity to it. This is a different time now. I think it's strange. I don't know what the buyers want at these networks. I ask, 'What is your network's ideology?' They shrug and say they'll do anything."