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SAG-AFTRA members and supporters protest on July 18 in New York City. Photo by Getty.

Influencers Walk a Fine Line as Hollywood Strikes

Photo: SAG-AFTRA members and supporters protest on July 18 in New York City. Photo by Getty.

Before we get into today’s column, some breaking news: Cameo, the video shout-out app that once employed nearly 400 workers, enacted at least its third round of job cuts Tuesday, my colleague Natasha and I reported. The company told laid off employees it was a financial decision. Cameo got popular in 2020 as a creator platform that seemed to bridge traditional entertainment and rising consumer interest in online influencers: it connects fans with athletes and actors, such as Lindsay Lohan and “The Office” star Brian Baumgartner, whose Hollywood careers may be past their prime—but who still can command enthusiastic online followings. The consumer business had already slowed severely in 2021, I reported last year, and it’s not clear how its newer business selling to companies has held up. We’ll update you as we learn more. 

Speaking of Hollywood, what started as a writer’s strike has expanded to actors. It's the first time actors in the top Hollywood union, known as SAG-AFTRA, have voted to strike in 43 years. That’s leaving creators who are working with companies that actors and writers are striking against, such as Disney and Netflix, in a delicate position. The union has advised members who are influencers that they shouldn’t accept new work from companies they are striking against—or even participate in upcoming conventions, such as Comic-Con, to promote companies it’s striking against. If a creator is already under contract to promote work for these companies, he or she is allowed to complete the work, SAG says in a recent FAQ.

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