Over 100,000 Indian TV and film workers went on strike in Mumbai today. They are protesting unfair wages and the prevalent practice of hiring non-union crew members. Some of the industry’s biggest stars, like Shah Rukh Khan, showed solidarity by agreeing to not cooperate with movie studios until the strike ends. Union members complain that studios and production companies have not honored an agreement which they signed nearly two years ago.
This is bad news for fans of the epic song-and-dance-filled melodramas. Most of the industry’s highly anticipated, big-budget productions were slated to hit theaters in the upcoming months. Now their releases are in doubt. Also on ice are the productions of insanely popular TV soap operas. The bottom line: if you are traveling to India and dreaming of taking part in a Bollywood film (like Sylvester Stallone) or are a connoisseur of Indian TV, hold your breath (or, rather, don’t). Surely theaters won’t be closing down or TV going off their air, but it’ll be reruns until the studios and unions make nice.