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Working in HollywoodHow the Studio System Turned Creativity into Labor$
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Ronny Regev

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469636504

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469636504.001.0001

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(p.165) Chapter Six Bargaining
Working in Hollywood

Ronny Regev

University of North Carolina Press

The sixth chapter recounts the history of Hollywood collective bargaining. On a day-to-day basis, the American motion picture industry relied on its ability to balance a modern, rationalized production operation with a more unstructured creative process. However, in times of crisis, when the harmony was interrupted, the creative element was often surrendered. During the 1930s, the presidency of FDR, his New Deal policies, and the empowerment of organized labor throughout the U.S. had a significant influence on Hollywood. The chapter focuses on the rise of the Screen Writers Guild, the Screen Actors Guild, and the Screen Directors Guild, their struggles, the way they chose to pursue them, and the attitude embraced towards them by studio management. However, as is shown, while they borrowed tactics from industrial unions and appealed to the National Labor Relations Board, Hollywood creative employees aligned with traditional industrial labor causes only as long as it served their immediate goals.

Keywords:   National Labor Relations Board, New Deal, Screen Actors Guild, Screen Directors Guild, Screen Writers Guild, FDR

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