Hollywood Actors Strike is Finally Over – SAG-AFTRA Reach a Deal with Studios

Hollywood Actors Strike is Finally Over - SAG-AFTRA Reach a Deal with Studios

A relief for the industry! After 118 days on the picket lines, the longest actors strike in Hollywood’s history is finally over. Yesterday, the SAG-AFTRA committee reached a tentative agreement with the major film and TV studios. According to the union’s statement, their committee was able to achieve “a deal of extraordinary scope”. What does it mean? Let’s look at a few details below.

For nearly four months, the filmmaking industry came to a halt, shutting down numerous productions because of the actor’s strike. The work stoppage also affected several big film releases, postponing them as union members were not allowed to promote their work or attend premieres (including “Dune: Part Two”, “Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse”, and “Challengers”, to name a few).

The strike ended at midnight, and starting today, all picket locations are closed for good.

actors strike is over - members on the picket lines throughout the last 118 days
Months on the picket lines. Image source: SAG

Actors strike: what happened in a nutshell?

On July 14, the Hollywood actor‘s union announced a strike, joining their colleagues from the WGA (Writer’s Guild of America), who had put their pencils down in May. The reason for the walkout was unsuccessful negotiations with The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), with whom they couldn’t reach an agreement for the new 3-year contract. The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (or SAG-AFTRA) demanded a fairer split of profits from the streaming giants, better working conditions, and strict regulations for the use of artificial intelligence. (Read more about how and why the strike began here).

actors strike is over - the president of the union Fran Drescher
Fran Drescher, SAG president, announcing the start of the actor’s strike in July. Image source: the official Twitter account of SAG-AFTRA

The subsequent negotiations went anything but smoothly, with both parties periodically leaving the bargaining table. After WGA voted to authorize its members to return to work, it seemed as if the actor’s strike was also approaching the final straight. However, on October 11, SAG-AFTRA broke down the negotiations yet again, restarting them only later in the month.

This past weekend, the studios reported that they delivered the actor’s union their “last, best & final offer”, which caused a huge wave of memes and reactions all over the Internet because of the manipulative wording.

actors strike is over - memes
Image source: Movie Set Humor account on Instagram

Nevertheless, despite all the hiccups, AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA were finally able to reach a deal that satisfied both sides. Union president, Fran Drescher, called the agreement “historic” in her emotional Instagram post. In return, the studios mentioned in the official press release that the new contract “represents a new paradigm” for the film industry and the actors.

actors strike is over - the new "historic" deal (quote)
Image source: official Fran Drescher account on Instagram

The new 3-year contract and its terms

So, what’s inside the “historic” agreement? The full terms and details are not to be released until the union’s National Board reviews them. However, in the official statement, SAG-AFTRA mentioned that the new contract is valued at over one billion dollars (which triples the last one), and for the first time establishes a streaming participation bonus. It also includes raised pension and health caps, and increases in pay minimums along with better benefits. Moreover, the challenging issue of AI found a resolution, incorporating “unprecedented provisions for consent and compensation.”

We have arrived at a contract that will enable SAG-AFTRA members from every category to build sustainable careers. Many thousands of performers now and into the future will benefit from this work.

A quote from the SAG-AFTRA announcement

This new tentative deal will affect around 160,000 film and television performers worldwide who are active members of the union.

What‘s next?

SAG-AFTRA promises to stay in touch in the coming days with information about celebration gatherings around the USA. In the meantime, actors can come back to sets and red carpets, so let the productions roll!

Were you also on strike? Or did the actor’s work stoppage impact your job? What do you think about the new contract? Share your opinion with us in the comments below!

Feature image source: SAG-AFTRA


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