May 25, 2022

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Hollywood animators are grossly undervalued

2 min read

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and live-action productions in the entertainment industry were put on pause, animated productions carried on, providing millions and millions around the world with entertainment, as they have for over a century, while life as we know it was turned upside down. Many of Hollywood’s most beloved, highest-grossing movies and series, in fact, are animated productions. But it may shock many to learn that the workers who make Hollywood animation happen have long struggled with gross pay inequity, limited opportunities for advancement, and fewer crediting and residual compensation guarantees than their live-action counterparts represented by the Writers Guild of America (WGA). This is why many in the industry are calling for a "New Deal for Animation" as The Animation Guild (TAG) returned to the bargaining table on Feb. 14 to continue working out a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers after talks stalled in December of last year.

In this interview, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with David Shair, Rachael Cohen, and Joey Clift about the vital work Animation Guild members do, the glaring disparities in how they are treated and compensated in comparison to their live-action counterparts, and the fight for a "New Deal for Animation." David Shair is a storyboard artist and writer with eleven years experience in the animation industry, working on such projects as Looney Tunes, Fish Hooks, and Spongebob Squarepants. He was part of the team that shaped the Storyboard Proposal in this year’s contract negotiations. Rachael Cohen is a cartoonist and color designer who worked in collaboration with the TAG Color Designer Committee to raise awareness about wage inequity and unfair working conditions for Color Designers. Joey Clift is a comedian, TV writer, and Animation Guild volunteer. He created the hashtag #PayAnimationWriters, which trended #1 on Twitter in the state of California leading up to negotiations.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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