On this week’s Movies vs. Capitalism, Rivka and Frank are joined by historian Harvey Kaye for a boisterous discussion of the 1992 live-action musical Newsies.

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The group questions how it was possible for a major corporate studio like Disney to produce a movie about labor organizing in which police literally punch children in the face. They unpack how the film’s two main characters represent the dichotomy between labor “activists” and “intellectuals.” And Harvey regales the group with additional historical context about the Gilded Age, the Bonus March, and the “neoliberal turn” of the 1970s.

In addition, Rivka and Frank discuss the potential Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike over the rates of minimum basic agreements and streaming residuals — and what it means for the future of film and television. The strike, which would include more than 10,000 writers and be the first such WGA action in 16 years, has the potential to shut down film and TV production nationwide.

A rough transcript of the episode is available here.

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