The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists union has joined the ongoing writers’ strike as negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) failed to reach a resolution.
SAG-AFTRA represents 160,000 actors and performers. The guild voted unanimously to advise strike action to its board. The breakdown means that film and television productions will immediately be suspended, effectively shutting Hollywood down.
Writers have been on strike over pay and work conditions for months and picketing outside several major studios, including Disney, Netflix and Paramount.
The AMPTP responded to the strike directive by stating that it “presented a deal that 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.”
Drescher insists the proposed deal did not guarantee the writers’ futures.
“Right now, we discussed what it would cost if it went for six months, so we’re looking for the long haul,” said Fran Drescher, the SAG-AFTRA president. “The gravity of a commitment like this is not lost on any of us. It’s major. But we also see that we have no future and no livelihood unless we take this action, unfortunately.”
Writers had been demanding a fairer distribution of streaming profits and
assurances that their duties and responsibilities would not be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI.)
“This is the union’s choice, not ours,” the AMPTP said in response to the decision to strike. “In doing so, it has dismissed our offer of historic pay and residual increases, substantially higher caps on pension and health contributions, audition protections, shortened series option periods, a ground-breaking AI proposal that protects actors’ digital likenesses, and more.”
During the strike, actors cannot promote past projects through conventions, interviews or panels, including any Emmy Award campaigning.