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ICYMI: Happy AI Anniversary 🙃
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ChatGPT’s one-year birthday is coming Nov. 30. It’s safe to say, since that day, nothing has been quite the same in how the world views the imminent threats and opportunity around AI technology.
In a new Ankler podcast interview, a celebratory SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher and chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland reveal to Elaine Low just how fraught AI became in the room before they reached their eventual agreement with the studios:
Crabtree-Ireland on the risk of ‘Frankenstein’ AI actors:
The companies really did not want to agree to anything in this space. I think probably because they're sort of afraid of what that might mean in the future for things they haven't even figured out yet…. It turned out to be an issue in the DGA and WGA negotiations, and I expect it will be next year for the Teamsters, IA, AFM.
Drescher on the studios’ initial response to AI guardrails:
[They said] ‘you'll just have to trust us, but we're not going to put it in writing.’ And it's like, ‘Come on, do I look like I was born yesterday?’
Even as AI stirs fear, Richard laments Hollywood’s obsessive wishing away of AI away as only the latest in its generations-long “get off my lawn” stance towards technology.
A quote worth remembering from then-MPAA president Jack Valenti in 1976, while testifying to Congress:
“The VCR is to the American film producer, as the Boston Strangler is to the woman home alone.”
One Labor Door Closes, Another Opens
Hollywood’s next battle: reality TV. Elaine talks to a former contestant from Love is Blind, Netflix’s most-watched original show, about how he was deprived of food, water, his passport — and worse — and what it might mean to bring new costs into a low-cost ecosystem as the unscripted world moves towards unionization:
Nick Thompson is a few months away from losing his house. He has been laid off from his job as a marketing executive, split from his wife, and had the divorce filing leak to TMZ before he was even able to tell friends and family. And now he can’t even get a new job, he says, because potential employers tell him they don’t want to hire someone who was on a reality show. His misfortune, in his estimation, stems from his participation on Netflix’s mega-popular dating show Love Is Blind.
If You Read Just One Thing…
A recent auction revealed that Alan Alda’s dog tags on M*A*S*H were not those of his character Hawkeye Pierce, but rather from two real WWII vets, a Black man from the South and a Jewish man from Brooklyn. Andy Lewis found their families and their stories, and talked to Alda, for Veterans Day:
Sean McNulty sat on hours of earnings calls so you didn’t have to, and the big takeaway: the strikes might be over, but Hollywood’s challenges are not:
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Elaine started the week on KPCC Air Talk with Larry Mantle, where she weighed in on the studio’s “last, best and final offer,” and then made the rounds with CBS News, Cheddar and KCal to discuss the tentative deal.
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