Hollywood actors initiated a strike at midnight after failed negotiations with studios, joining the film and television writers who have been picketing since May. This development has intensified the disruption of numerous shows and movies.
According to reports, the Screen Actors Guild is set to join over 10,000 members of the Writers Guild of America on the picket lines, marking the first joint strike after 1960.
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Since May 2, they have been engaged in a strike against major studios and streaming services, resulting in the suspension of numerous productions in the United States and abroad.
The primary demands of SAG-AFTRA, the largest union representing 160,000 actors in Hollywood, and the Writers Guild of America include increased base pay and residuals in the streaming TV era, as well as guarantees that their work will not be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI).
The strike was officially initiated at midnight, following a unanimous vote by the national board of SAG-AFTRA to authorize the walkout. The actors’ union made this announcement on Thursday after the deadline to reach a new contract expired on Wednesday.
Fran Drescher, former star of “The Nanny” TV show and the president of SAG-AFTRA, expressed her dismay at the studios’ dismissive responses to the actors’ concerns.
She stated, “I am shocked by the way the people we have been in business with are treating us. I cannot believe how far apart we are on so many issues, and how they claim financial hardship while giving their CEOs hundreds of millions. It is truly disgraceful.”
On the other side, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which negotiates on behalf of production companies including Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) and Walt Disney Co (DIS.N), expressed deep disappointment over SAG-AFTRA’s decision to walk away from negotiations.