ZB ZB
Live now
Start time
Playing for
End time
Listen live
Listen to NAME OF STATION
Up next
Listen live on
ZB

Hollywood actors' strike is over as SAG-AFTRA reach deal

Author
AP,
Publish Date
Thu, 9 Nov 2023, 3:27PM
Sag-Aftra member John Schmitt, second from right, and others carry signs on the picket line outside Netflix in Los Angeles. Photo / AP
Sag-Aftra member John Schmitt, second from right, and others carry signs on the picket line outside Netflix in Los Angeles. Photo / AP

Hollywood actors' strike is over as SAG-AFTRA reach deal

Author
AP,
Publish Date
Thu, 9 Nov 2023, 3:27PM

Hollywood’s actors union reached a tentative deal with studios on Wednesday (US time) to end its strike, bringing an end to months of labour strife that ground the entertainment industry to a historic halt.

The three-year contract agreement must be approved by votes from the union’s board and its members in the coming days, but the leadership declared the strike will end at 12.01 am on Thursday.

More than 60,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Performers (Sag-Aftra) went on strike July 14, joining screenwriters who had walked off the job more than two months earlier. It was the first time the two unions had been on strike together since 1960. Studios chose to negotiate with the writers first, striking a deal that their leadership marked as a major win and bringing their strike to an end on September 26.

The details of the agreement were not immediately released, but are likely to be shared with the actors and the public in the coming days. Issues on the table included both short-term compensation and future royalty payments for film and TV performances, along with control over actors’ images and likenesses regenerated with artificial intelligence (AI).

Sag-Aftra member John Schmitt, second from right, and others carry signs on the picket line outside Netflix in Los Angeles. Photo / AP
Sag-Aftra member John Schmitt, second from right, and others carry signs on the picket line outside Netflix in Los Angeles. Photo / AP

Executives from top entertainment companies including Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros. Discovery and Universal had a direct hand in negotiations which, like all Hollywood union talks, were led by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

Although the writers’ strike had immediate, visible effects for viewers, including the months long suspension of late-night talk shows and Saturday Night Live, the impact of the actors’ absence was not as immediately apparent. But its ripple effects - delayed release dates and waits for new show seasons - could be felt for months, or even years.

Actors could quickly return to movie sets where productions were paused, including Deadpool 3, Gladiator 2 and Wicked. Other movies and shows will restart shooting once returning writers finish scripts.

And beyond scripted productions, the end of the strike would fully free actors to return to red carpets, talk shows and podcasts, as Hollywood’s awards season approaches.

Sarah Silverman walks on a picket line outside Netflix studios in Los Angeles. Photo / AP
Sarah Silverman walks on a picket line outside Netflix studios in Los Angeles. Photo / AP

The only major awards show directly effected by the strike was the Emmys, which was moved from September to January. Now, the usual autumn Oscar campaigns are likely to mobilise.

But any feeling of industry normalcy could prove temporary. The circumstances that brought on the strikes - the shift from traditional theatrical and broadcast media to streaming, and emerging tech like AI - have not been slowed. And the gains made by the strikes may embolden other Hollywood unions, or these same guilds in negotiations that will come up again in just a few years.

Union leaders treated the strike like a watershed moment from the start, coming as it did amid wider labour fights in other industries.

“I think it’s a conversation now about the culture of big business, and how it treats everybody up and down the ladder in the name of profit,” Sag-Aftra president and The Nanny star Fran Drescher told The Associated Press in an August interview.

The agreement, if approved, also means a return to sets for thousands of film crew members who have left with nothing to work on during the strikes. Sa-AFTRA sought to offset their hardship by allowing sometimes controversial interim agreements for some smaller productions to proceed, and by making their strike relief fund available to all workers in the industry.e ability to be an actor when they turn 18”.

The agreement, if approved, also means a return to sets for thousands of film crew members who have left with nothing to work on during the strikes. Sag-Aftra sought to offset their hardship by allowing sometimes-controversial interim agreements for some smaller productions to proceed, and by making their strike relief fund available to all workers in the industry.

Associated Press Writer Krysta Fauria contributed to this report.

Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you