[Discussion] On Television, Cinema and the Under Represented

Thread for race issues in media.

Birth Of a Nation
This movie isn't do so good. I think this is because black people are tired of slave type movies, white people don't want the white guilt, and everybody else is turned off by the rape case. I mean this in general. This is just a perfect storm for the downfall of the movie.

Surviving Compton
Straight out of compton left out the ladies. This lifetime show means to correct that. I believe all of the production was done by women.

Mulan live.
All Chinese cast. Maybe the dumb choices of Gods of Egypt are over.

South Korean actors in Netflix originals want better pay. The company refuses to meet with their union


And Netflix is making so, so, SO much off S. Korean stuff right now.

Here's the show thread, in case you're interested: https://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/...

slazev wrote:

Here's the show thread, in case you're interested: https://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/...

They are most likely a spammer.

Watching shows like Extra try and cover a film like Killers of the Flower Moon is always entertaining, because they have to attempt to address its subject matter, and they are wholly, entirely, not equipped to do so.

It's like watching Mike Myers standing next to Kanye all over again.

ZERO idea where to put this, given that it doesn't fit neatly into any particular thread, or even this one, since it's kinda about Hollywood but more about labor than it is representation:

"Crumbling" Anime Industry Asks SAG-AFTRA to Speak Some Sense Into Youth

Representatives of Japanese film and anime hope that the acting union SAG-AFTRA can inject their knowledge into a "crumbling" anime industry.

Discussing the ailing anime industry, Full Frontal sat down with animation director Terumi Nishii (Jujutsu Kaisen, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable) and voice actor Ayano Fukumiya. Fukumiya represents NAFCA (Nippon Anime & Film Culture Association) and explained to Full Frontal why, despite NAFCA being an association of like-minded individuals, it is not a registered union. "Well, a lot of young people are afraid of fighting. But what we’re fighting for is our rights. So first, we need to educate people about history and collective action," she said. "Because if we just start up a union right now, nobody will come. We mustn’t rush and skip the steps."

"As things are today, it’s a time where a lot of people are afraid of fighting," Fukumiya continued. She highlighted that it's not just in Japan but globally that labor conditions are under strain. "Talking of overseas, we’re all feeling the impact of the Hollywood strikes. I wish SAG-AFTRA people would come to Japan and make speeches. There are still actors in Japan who don’t know about what’s been going on. We’re at that level, so first, we need to properly relay that kind of information."

NAFCA was established on April 27, 2023, by notable anime and film staff, including Masuo Ueda (former president of A-1 Pictures and Aniplex), Masaru Kitao (chief animation director for Attack on Titan The Final Season Part 2) and voice actor Yuko Kaida (Sylvia Sherwood, Spy x Family). Principally, they wish to become a power that can exert pressure on the government to improve standards, with rising wages and improved production lines for overworked staff also priorities. Fukumiya highlighted that "the animation industry is crumbling because of the lack of staff," while Nishii stated that that "while frustration is piling up - nobody will actually do anything yet." It's hoped that NAFCA can foster connections, "creating a community and developing links that go beyond just animation!"

These dire conditions can be seen in the popular Jujutsu Kaisen anime. Animators and directors involved with the show have been speaking out at an unprecedented level. "I've done a job that no one would appreciate, and I'm sure I'll continue to do so," animator Hokuto Sadamoto said on X after Season 2, Episode 14. He initially used a pseudonym because he was so disgusted with his work, and was angry after his name was leaked. Sadamoto revealed that he was told to do 250 animation cuts -- a number that was simply infeasible. Numerous staff have since said they're taking breaks from the industry after Jujutsu Kaisen finishes. Those who feel a deep sense of responsibility may continue to work but harbor deep blame for themselves.

Despite Nishii being a veteran within the industry, credited as chief animation director for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable and Jujutsu Kaisen 0, she continues to be deeply outspoken about issues in the industry. She criticized Netflix in 2020 for its failure to trickle larger budgets down to workers and has also been vocal about the lack of formal animator standards. According to her, this has led to an influx of underqualified people being hired for roles. Perhaps due to her outspokenness, she is not officially part of NAFCA, as in her own words: "I’m a bit too extreme to work in a group."

Well, I hope they do figure out something. I already knew Mangaka and anime animators put in absolutely insane hours, but there was a NYTimes piece a while ago that absolutely blew my mind about the utter f*cking pittance they make for their skills.

When Mr. Akutsu became an animator eight years ago, the global anime market — including TV shows, movies and merchandise — was a little more than half of what it would be by 2019, when it hit an estimated $24 billion. The pandemic boom in video streaming has further accelerated demand at home and abroad, as people binge-watch kid-friendly fare like “Pokémon” and cyberpunk extravaganzas like “Ghost in the Shell.”

But little of the windfall has reached Mr. Akutsu. Though working nearly every waking hour, he takes home just $1,400 to $3,800 a month as a top animator and an occasional director on some of Japan’s most popular anime franchises.

And he is one of the lucky ones: Thousands of lower-rung illustrators do grueling piecework for as little as $200 a month. Rather than rewarding them, the industry’s explosive growth has only widened the gap between the profits they help generate and their paltry wages, leaving many to wonder whether they can afford to continue following their passion.

“I want to work in the anime industry for the rest of my life,” Mr. Akutsu, 29, said during a telephone interview. But as he prepares to start a family, he feels intense financial pressure to leave. “I know it’s impossible to get married and to raise a child.”

The low wages and abysmal working conditions — hospitalization from overwork can be a badge of honor in Japan — have confounded the usual laws of the business world. Normally, surging demand would, at least in theory, spur competition for talent, driving up pay for existing workers and attracting new ones.

That’s happening to some extent at the business’s highest levels. Median annual earnings for key illustrators and other top-line talent increased to about $36,000 in 2019 from around $29,000 in 2015, according to statistics gathered by the Japan Animation Creators Association, a labor organization.

These animators are known in Japanese as “genga-man,” the term for those who draw what are called key frames. As one of them, Mr. Akutsu, a freelancer who bounces around Japan’s many animation studios, earns enough to eat and to rent a postage stamp of a studio apartment in a Tokyo suburb.

But his wages are a far cry from what animators earn in the United States, where average pay can be $65,000 a year or more, and more advanced work pays around $75,000.

And plenty of animators stateside will tell you it ain't all honey and roses either, given how much animation work these days is not salaried, but instead contracted. (See Netflix cutting 1/3 of its feature animation division last week.)

That said, Walt Disney Animation Studios staffers recently voted to unionize with the Animation Guild, so here's hoping this takes off on both sides of the Pacific.