UPDATED: 7/13/2023, 3:48 PM EST
Well, it looks like Hollywood’s writers have to make room on the picket line: The actors are going on strike too!
SAG-AFTRA, the union representing about 160,000 actors, announced in a Thursday press conference that they are now on strike. This comes after talks with major studios and streaming services have failed, according to CNN.
This will mark the first actors’ strike since 1980, and the first double strike with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) since 1960, when actor (and eventual President) Ronald Reagan was the head of the Screen Actors Guild.
SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher (of The Nanny fame) said in a statement that the studio management’s offers were “insulting and disrespectful.”
“The companies have refused to meaningfully engage on some topics and on others completely stonewalled us,” she said. “Until they do negotiate in good faith, we cannot begin to reach a deal.”
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It has prompted a response from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents the studios and streamers, including Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Hulu, and others.
“Rather than continuing to negotiate, SAG-AFTRA has put us on a course that will deepen the financial hardship for thousands who depend on the industry for their livelihoods,” a statement from AMPTP read.
WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT
According to Deadline, over 1,000 actors have signed a letter from SAG-AFTRA, addressing their concerns. The issues included increased pay and progress on residuals, especially on streaming services.
SAG-AFTRA also shared concerns about the advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and what that could mean for future productions. The AMPTP claimed in their proposal that they would offer “a groundbreaking AI proposal that protects actors’ digital likenesses.
SO WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
We already what Hollywood is going through during the WGA strike, which kicked off in May. Award shows have gone without hosts, production on films and TV shows have halted, and it’s unclear when certain programming will return.
Now that the actors are now on strike, we can expect all of that on a much larger scale.
Not only will actors stop working on any and all projects, but they will also not do any promotional runs either. That means no interviews, no premieres, and no fan events.
SAG-AFTRA made it crystal clear during a conference call with publicity agencies, as reported by TheWrap:
Actors will not be permitted to take part in promotional work of any kind, including press junkets, film premieres, and fan events like San Diego Comic-Con. Actors are permitted to attend the pop culture convention as long as they don’t take part in any panels that promote a specific film or television show or discuss any current or future work. While attendance is allowed, individuals with knowledge of the publicist meeting tell TheWrap that SAG-AFTRA would prefer that its members completely skip the event later this month.
Sources also say that SAG-AFTRA has informed publicists that any scheduled press or acting work after a strike is ordered must be cancelled. SAG-AFTRA members are also not permitted to promote any work on social media, as that is considered publicity.
In other words, Hollywood will completely shut down, leaving us to watch reality TV and reruns. Several events, including the UK premiere of the film Oppenheimer, have been affected.
Honestly, if it means better pay for our favorite actors… we’ll take it.
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