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Lawrence actor hopeful after tentative writers agreement announced

'It’s us being creative that tell these stories that people relate to'
writer strike
Posted at 5:30 PM, Sep 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-25 22:04:30-04

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After more than 140 days, the Writers Guild of America reached a tentative agreement with media companies.

WGA members started their strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers in early May, with actors joining the picket line in July in a separate dispute.

SAG-AFTRA actors remained on strike Monday without a deal as screenwriters prepare to vote on their tentative agreement as early as Tuesday.

University of Kansas associate professor and SAG-AFTRA actor Laura Kirk said she is anxiously awaiting a deal after a dry summer without any acting work.

“There is a part of you that always looks at your IMDB page and says, 'Well, there is another gap,'” Kirk said. “This gap is explainable, but it’s hard.”

Kirk started her career on the coasts and moved to Lawrence 11 years ago. She relied on acting work in the summer to propel her career forward.

Word of a potential agreement for writers gave Kirk hope for the future of film this fall.

“America is a labor-strong country. And we are the labor and the creativity that contributes to everything we watch,” Kirk said. “What we watch is in the palms of our hands now. It’s always accessible.”

SAG-AFTRA and WGA members have similar asks — more base compensation, a bigger cut of royalties and stronger protections against artificial intelligence (AI).

“It’s us being creative that tell these stories that people relate to, and it’s because it’s coming from real emotions — last I checked, AI doesn’t have emotions,” she said.

WGA said it will release the details of the agreement after a vote scheduled for Tuesday.