While the dual Hollywood strikes of 2023 laid bare the struggles of writers and actors, with unions fighting for new deals with studios that would set workers up for success as the industry continues to change, others in the industry not only empathized but were energized by the movement.
Nya Patrinos, a set decorator for shows like “Pam and Tommy” and “The Morning Show,” studied architecture before pursuing a career in set design. “When I started there were four Black decorators,” Patrinos said in TheWrap’s Bold Steps presented by Johnnie Walker. “And then there were three for a while. Now 24 years later, there’s four. I mean, there’s no progress. So we’re working on all kinds of problems.”
Patrinos said 2023 was one of the worst years she’s had financially due to the strikes. “I have to remind myself that it wasn’t personal, that I hadn’t done anything wrong, because sometimes I became depressed,” she said. “But the strikes became an opportunity for me to volunteer more in the local and then I also went back to school full time.”
She continued, saying the changed industry makes it hard for workers in Hollywood to make a livable wage.
“When I started, I could be on a TV show and it would be 20 to 24 episodes. Now I gotta interview for a job every three months,” she said. “It’s a lot of variables to make a life so when the writers were talking about it I thought, ‘Yeah, everything you’re talking about, I have the same problems and I make less money than you.”
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