Actors strike ends: Studios reach tentative agreement with SAG-AFTRA after a painful 118 days on the picket line
The Hollywood actors’ strike, which threatened to plunge the studios into chaos, could finally be over after 118 days, it was confirmed tonight.
Union SAG-AFTRA has reached a preliminary agreement for a new three-year deal with studios.
Two weeks of intense negotiations between the performing artists’ union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers appear to have produced a breakthrough in the long-running dispute, with an official end at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.
The union said in a statement that its negotiators had voted unanimously to approve the tentative agreement, which will be sent to the union’s national board on Friday for “review and consideration.”
The strikes began on July 14, with actors highlighting a number of issues, including pay and the use of artificial intelligence, that were central to the talks.
The deal still needs to be ratified by union members but would end a summer of industrial action that also saw Hollywood writers strike for nearly five months.
The strikes began on July 14, with actors highlighting a number of issues, including pay and the use of artificial intelligence, that were central to the talks
Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav attended the talks that appear to have yielded a breakthrough in the four-month strike
Hollywood suffered its first double work stoppage in 63 years, halting productions across the industry and costing the economy billions of dollars
The talks had collapsed as recently as October 12 when studio bosses walked away, arguing that the SAG-AFTRA proposal of $800 million a year meant “the gap was too wide.”
But Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros Discovery’s David Zaslav and Disney CEO Bob Iger attended the resumed talks in person at the union’s national headquarters in Los Angeles as the dispute threatened to bring the industry to its knees.
Warner Bros predicted in September that the actors’ and writers’ strike would lead to a loss of $500 million this year.
Hollywood’s first double work stoppage in 63 years halted productions across the industry and cost the economy billions of dollars.
But the studios announced in October that they had suspended contract negotiations after making an offer that was as good as the one that ended the writers’ strike.
“It is clear that the gap between the AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA is too wide, and conversations are no longer moving us in a productive direction,” the AMPTP said in a statement.
The actors’ union denounced the “bullying tactics” of their opponents, saying they grossly mischaracterized their offers.
But talks resumed on October 24 after a nearly two-week hiatus, when the studios improved their offer to raise actors’ pay floors and moved to a success-based streaming bonus.
Numerous big-budget films in the works were forced to close immediately. Productions affected included the anticipated sequel Deadpool 3
Filming for Gladiator 2, starring Paul Mescal (pictured), has also been temporarily canceled due to future uncertainty
Series like Sydney Sweeney’s Euphoria were not spared, with season three of the show postponed until 2025
Two days later, a letter signed by thousands of actors was released in which union negotiators said, “We didn’t come all this way to give in.”
Details of the new deal have yet to emerge after the studios made their “last, best and final” offer over the use of AI that actors fear will destroy their profession.
In a letter to actors last month, the union claimed that the companies “refuse to protect artists from being replaced by AI, they refuse to raise your wages to keep up with inflation, and they refuse a small share of the immense revenue that YOUR work generates to share. for them’.
The union has been working to close any AI loopholes that could lead to future problems, and to secure major increases in health care and pension contribution caps that have not been seen in decades changed.
SAG-AFTRA announced they would join the strike on July 13 and president-actress Fran Drescher said, “We demand respect! You cannot exist without us!
“What happens to us is important,” the Nanny star added. ‘What happens to us happens in all areas of the labor market.
“When employers make Wall Street and greed their priority and they forget about the essential contributors who keep the machine running, we have a problem.
SAG boss Fran Drescher led the actor dispute and has approved the new deal
In July, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (SAG-AFTRA) decided to stand in solidarity with the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) – which had been acting since May – after negotiations with studios collapsed.
“The jig is up, we demand respect,” she said.
The Union told its members last month not to dress up as characters from popular movies or shows for Halloween, via a digital flyer posted on the strike’s website.
In addition to avoiding characters from currently affected films or television shows, guild members should also avoid wearing costumes of characters owned by affected companies, such as characters from Marvel films, which are primarily owned by Disney.
A flyer instructed members to “choose costumes inspired by common characters and figures,” and lists ghosts, zombies and spiders as safe and acceptable costume ideas.