SAG-AFTRA's negotiating committee has come to a settlement with the studios to possibly end the strike which began on July 14, 2023.
The historic actors' and writers' strike has been going on for a while now and it has stalled the production of several big-budget Hollywood projects. However, there is a ray of hope after the prolonged strike as there have been speculations that the protest will possibly come to an end this year. According to reports from Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, the strike will apparently end at 12:01 a.m. on November 9, 2023, Thursday, after a grueling 118 days.
A provisional deal has been struck between the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). SAG-AFTRA unanimously gave the deal a green flag and will likely be presented for approval to the union's national board on Friday.
Less than a month after negotiation talks started, on July 13, SAG-AFTRA first declared it was going on strike in response to unsuccessful contract talks with Hollywood companies. Due to the fall in pay and residuals brought about by the advent of streaming services and the issues that follow, actors sought out better benefit plans and compensation packages. They were also demanding defenses against the effects of artificial intelligence on their line of work.
"Together we lock elbows and in unity, we build a new contract that honors our contributions in this remarkable industry, reflects the new digital and streaming business model and brings all our concerns for protections and benefits into the now! Bravo SAG-AFTRA, we are in it to win it," the guild's president, Fran Drescher, said in a statement, as reported by PEOPLE. 97.91% of SAG members voted in favor of authorization of the strike back on June 5, 2023.
"Whether it's compensation, residuals, safety protections, enforcement, protections from harassment, legislative advocacy, increasing work opportunities, working with our sister organizations in the industry, expanding work opportunities and making sure our contracts stay ahead of technological changes," she said in an interview with Deadline when the strike began. Actors like Tom Hanks, Dan Aykroyd, J.K. Simmons, Rosario Dawson and many more voiced their support for Drescher's statement.
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Drescher shared a screenshot on her Instagram to celebrate the news and captioned the post, "We did it!! The Billion+ $ Deal! 3X the last contract! New ground was broken everywhere! Thank you, SAG-AFTRA members, for hanging in and holding out for this historic deal! Thank you, strike captains, staff, Duncan & Ray, our lawyers, the IA team, family and friends. Our sister unions for their unrelenting support! And the AMPTP for hearing us and meeting this moment! #sagaftrastrong."
In a contract valued at over one billion dollars, we have achieved a deal of extraordinary scope that includes "above-pattern" minimum compensation increases, unprecedented provisions for consent and compensation that will protect members from the threat of AI,... pic.twitter.com/lQe6snkQsY— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) November 9, 2023
The official X (previously Twitter) page of SAG-AFTRA made an announcement which read, "In a contract valued at over one billion dollars, we have achieved a deal of extraordinary scope that includes 'above-pattern' minimum compensation increases, unprecedented provisions for consent and compensation that will protect members from the threat of AI." As the tentative deal has been reached, delayed film, TV and talk show projects can resume as writers and actors return to work under favorable conditions.
The four-month-long strike witnessed several notable stars like Dwayne Johnson, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck, Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Nicole Kidman and Arnold Schwarzenegger donate $1 million each or more to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation's Emergency Financial Assistance Program to help their fellow industry professionals, per PEOPLE.
Some of the series that shut down production when the writers' strike started that are on the fast track to resume filming include Max's "Hacks," "The Penguin" and "Welcome to Derry," Peacock's "Hysteria!" and FX's "The Old Man," per Deadline. Two shows shooting in France, Netflix's "Emily In Paris" and Amazon's upcoming "Etoile" from Amy Sherman-Palladino, had to delay production. The agreement between the WGA and the AMPTP, comprised of Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, NBC Universal, Paramount and Sony, was reached during in-person and virtual meetings on September 20 and 24.