Hollywood’s writers and actors are on strike, together. For the first time since 1960, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), is striking alongside the Writers Guild of America (WGA). Without their labor, Hollywood productions have ground to a halt.

"This is a moment of reckoning for the industry," said Michael Jeffries, professor of American studies at Wellesley College. "This is a moment where the old system of figuring out what shows were doing well, how much the job and the labor was actually worth, has evaporated. ... If they don't, as an industry, come to some sort of fair agreement, now, I think we're gonna continue to see upheaval. It's going to trickle down to what we, the customers, are able to access. It's going to totally shift the labor dynamics of that industry, and everybody is going to be worse off."

Meanwhile, the "Barbie" flick was released this weekend alongside "Oppenheimer," a movie about the making of the atomic bomb. Some experts think the duo — “Barbenheimer,” if you will — could bring the biggest crowds to theaters since before the pandemic.

"I think the two movies, even though the people who are making them seem so different in their artistic visions, I think they're actually really complementary to each other," Karen Huang, lecturer on history and literature at Harvard University, told Under the Radar. "To be able to experience these two completely different films in cinema, I think effectively is a really different and really contained form of escape that is completely divergent from how we experience streaming services, for example, because when you're sitting in a movie theater, there's a kind of a shared intimacy among moviegoers that you don't get as much when you're just watching a movie at home."

That and more on Under the Radar's Pop Culture Roundtable.


Michael Jeffries, dean of academic affairs and professor of American studies at Wellesley College

Karen Huang, lecturer on history and literature at Harvard University