Report: Americans Side With Striking Writers, Actors Over The Companies They Work For

Most Americans are not only aware of the ongoing actors’ and writers’ strikes, they’re also on the side of the strikers, according to a survey released today by Horizon Media. 

The media agency’s Why Group surveyed 600 U.S. respondents on July 18 and 19. It was weighted to be representative of age, ethnicity, region, and income. 

The survey found 45% favored striking writers and 39% favored striking actors while just 9% sided with studios or streaming services and 8% with networks. Horizon opined that people generally are more aware of wage gaps in the country and thus may find the strikers’ cause more relatable than their employers. 



The firm reported that in the 72 hours following the announcement of the WGA strike, there were nearly 800,000 social posts, and in the same period following the SAG strike announcement, there were 1.1 million related social posts.   

The social analysis revealed that the “raised fist” emoji—which has historically been used as a symbol of solidarity—has been used more than 53,000 times to express support for the writers and actors who are on strike. It is also the most used emoji overall by people online to show support for the striking workers.  

More than half of those surveyed were aware of the WGA strike (52%) and SAG strike (58%) – more than 11 percentage points higher than other high-profile labor disputes.   

And respondents are not only aware, but they're invested – with nearly three in four (73%) saying they care and are following the story.  

When asked what they would do if their favorite scripted shows were unavailable for an extended period, most people are making alternate content choices as they wait for the strikes to resolve and say they will re-watch old shows (47%); find shows/movies on other streaming platforms they subscribe to (35%); spend more time on other non-entertainment hobbies (28%); and try new genres of entertainment (25%).  

Only 15% of respondents overall said they'd cancel a streaming service.   

But there were differences among different age demographics. Those 35-49 indicate more willingness to subscribe to a new platform to get access to new-to-them content (18%), while younger viewers are more likely to pause their subscriptions until new content returns (25%) or spend more time watching content on social media (55%).  

People 50+ are more likely to do nothing different (24%).  

One common point of concern among viewers is the rising costs of streaming subscriptions. When asked if they would be willing to pay more if streaming prices were to go up to meet the demands of striking writers and actors, roughly a quarter of respondents (28%) said "yes," while that number increases to 38% for those who support the strikers.   

For younger viewers 18-25 and 26-34, the percentages increase to 46% and 41% respectively.   

That said, the agency’s interpretation is that the numbers do not suggest an overwhelming willingness to pay out of pocket to solve an issue people largely see as the responsibility of the businesses.  

Those least likely to pay more and most likely to unsubscribe are viewers 35+. While at least 50% of each age group indicated a likelihood to consider unsubscribing if prices increase, the highest numbers were among those 35-49 (64%) and 50+ (56%), with those same groups being least likely to pay more – at 27% and 18% respectively.  

"Unlike past strikes, people are not only invested in the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, the study also reveals that going forward they are willing to alter their viewing habits in a major way," said Maxine Gurevich, senior vice president/ Cultural Intelligence of Why. "Given these findings, the next few months will be critical in working to find a swift resolution to the strike, as well as ensuring content libraries are smarter and even more accessible." 


Next story loading loading..