The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), the labor union for Hollywood stars, announced Thursday that it is on strike against film and TV companies.
This is the second time in Hollywood history that actors have joined writers to go on strike.
The writers have already been on strike for a month or so.
The strike will impact 160,000 union members and will begin at midnight tonight.
The union’s national executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said that the talks left the union “with no choice”
He said: “The studios and streamers have implemented massive unilateral changes in our industry’s business model, while at the same time insisting on keeping our contracts frozen in amber.
“That’s not how you treat a valued, respected partner and essential contributor.
“Their refusal to meaningfully engage with our key proposals and the fundamental disrespect shown to our members is what has brought us to this point.
“The studios and streamers have underestimated our members’ resolve, as they are about to fully discover.”
“We are being victimized by a very greedy enterprise,” SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher said.
“At some point, you have to say ‘no, we’re not going to take this anymore. You people are crazy. What are you doing? Why are you doing this?’
“The entire business model has been changed by streaming and AI [artificial intelligence].
“If we don’t stand tall right now, we are all going to be in jeopardy.
“You cannot change the business model as much as it has been changed and not expect the contract to change too.”
It’s official: SAG-AFTRA is on strike against the film and TV companies, marking only the second time in Hollywood history that actors have joined writers on the picket lines.https://t.co/NxzeSmmHvh pic.twitter.com/ijP19dREBE
— Variety (@Variety) July 13, 2023
SAG-AFTRA Television, Theatrical, and Streaming Contracts Expire Without a Deal https://t.co/tDcJKCleXr
— SAG-AFTRA NEWS (@sagaftranews) July 13, 2023
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the studios, says it 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-AFTR members.
“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 Union has regrettably chosen a path that will lead to financial hardship for countless thousands of people who depend on the industry.”