Largest union representing about 160,000 actors and workers in television and film announced a strike, leading to the first industry-wide shutdown of the U.S. entertainment industry
On Thursday, Hollywood’s largest union representing about 160,000 actors and workers in television and film announced a strike, leading to the first industry-wide shutdown of the U.S. entertainment industry in more than six decades.
The national board of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) voted unanimously to go on strike. This collective action is set to go into effect at Thursday midnight and picketing will start on Friday morning.
“It came with great sadness that we came to this crossroads, but we have no choice,” said SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher, noting that members of the union “are being victimized by a very greedy entity.”
The union said it has instructed “all SAG-AFTRA members to cease rendering all services and performing all work covered by the TV/Theatrical Contracts.”
American film actors reported that before the strike, Hollywood studios tried to get their hands on AI copies – forever.
In its press release about the actors ' strike , the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) stated that they were offering "a… pic.twitter.com/74svmcViCC
— Spriter Team (@SpriterTeam) July 14, 2023
“After more than four weeks of negotiations, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the entity that represents major studios and streamers, including Amazon, Apple, Disney, NBC Universal, Netflix, Paramount, Sony, and Warner Bros Discovery, remains unwilling to offer a fair deal on the key issues that you told us are important to you,” said Drescher and the union’s chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.
“Though we’ve engaged in negotiations in good faith and remained eager to reach a deal that sufficiently addressed performer concerns, the AMPTP’s responses to our proposals have not been adequate,” they noted.
“A strike is certainly not the outcome we hoped for as studios cannot operate without the performers that bring our TV shows and films to life,” the AMPTP said.
“Member companies entered the negotiations with SAG-AFTRA with the goal of forging a new, mutually beneficial contract,” said the AMPTP, adding that it “presented a deal that offered historic pay and residual increases, substantially higher caps on pension and health contributions, audition protections, shortened series option periods, and a groundbreaking AI proposal that protects actors’ digital likenesses for SAG-AFTRA members.”
“The eyes of the world and, particularly, the eyes of labor are upon us,” Fran Drescher, the president of SAG-AFTRA, said. Leaders of the Hollywood union representing 160,000 television and movie actors, voted to strike on Thursday, joining screenwriters. https://t.co/601CRHlMCI pic.twitter.com/E0Iq6ELAQ1
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 13, 2023
Disney CEO Bob Iger, one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood, told CNBC ahead of SAG-AFTRA’s announcement on Thursday morning that the unions are not being “realistic” in their demands.
“It will have a very, very damaging effect on the whole business. And unfortunately there’s huge collateral damage to the industry…It will affect the economy of different regions, even, because of the sheer size of the business,” he noted.
It’s the first time that Hollywood witnessed two industry-wide strikes at the same time since 1960 and is also the first actors’ strike since 1980.
The SAG-AFTRA strike came two months after the start of an ongoing strike of the Writers Guild of America and its 11,500 members in May, which has brought Hollywood production on many new projects to a halt.
Courtesy: TeleSur (Posted on July 14, 2023)