An Earth-Shattering Year: Entertainment Industry Leaders Reflect on 2020

Labor News, Industry News

Reprinted from Variety by Cynthia Littleton and Claudia Eller on December 18, 2020.

To say that 2020 has been a ground-shifting year, would be to minimize all of the profound sorrow, loss and upheaval that these past 12 months have sowed.

One of the most confounding aspects of this cataclysmic year has been how ubiquitous the pain has been spread, whether it was from the public health crisis and its life-or-death stakes, or the centuries-long systemic racism and injustice that was accentuated by the murder of George Floyd, or in the fallout from the sociopolitical culture wars that have unleashed so much distrust and disdain among Americans.

The world of sports and entertainment also suffered the untimely deaths of two young, beloved figures.

“It was a terrible year that started with Kobe Bryant dying,” says actor-director George Clooney, one of seven industry figures interviewed for this week’s Variety cover story. “When Chadwick Boseman died, I remember that gut-punch feeling that this year was designed to test our mettle.”

The underpinnings of the media business were shaken to their core with a pandemic that crippled on-set production and forced movie and live-event theaters and arenas to be shut down, leaving tens of thousands of workers unemployed. …

Variety 12/19

About Jeffrey Burman 861 Articles
Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at [email protected].