Actors union will join writers on strike, shutting down Hollywood

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Striking Writers Guild of America (WGA) members picket in front of the Netflix offices as the SAG-AFTRA union announced it has agreed to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers’ ‘last-minute request’ for federal arbitration , but it declined to renegotiate its existing labor contract after the negotiation deadline on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. in Los Angeles, California, US.

Mike Blake | reuters

Hollywood actors are officially on strike.

Unable to reach an agreement with the producers, members of The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists – will join more than 11,000 already-striking film and television writers starting at midnight.

“We are the victims here,” union president Fran Drescher said during a news conference on Thursday. “We are being victimized by a very greedy organization. I am appalled by the way people we have been doing business with are treating us.”

“It’s disgusting,” she said. “shame on them.”

SAG-AFTRA members are already taking the strike seriously. “Oppenheimer” actors left the film’s London premiere on Thursday, Director Christopher Nolan told the crowd that the cast was gone and “ready to write their picket signs.” The film will start next week.

Failed talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers meant that film and television productions featuring the actors would cease immediately, essentially shutting down Hollywood. This will be the first tandem strike in Hollywood since 1960,

Actors will not be allowed to promote past projects through conferences, interviews or panels during the strike. This includes any Emmy Award campaign. Nominations for the annual awards show were announced on Wednesday and the ceremony is set to air Sept. 18 on Fox.

Moving forward in talks last month, Hollywood actors were looking to improve pay, working conditions and health and pension benefits, as well as building guardrails. use of artificial intelligence in future television and film production. Additionally, the union is calling for greater transparency about viewership from streaming services in order to make residual payments similar to those paid for viewing on linear TV.

“You can’t change the business model as much as it has changed and expect the connectivity to change,” Drescher said.

Writers Guild of America, who have been on strike since May, demanding higher compensation and residuals, especially when it comes to streaming shows, as well as new rules that would require studios to staff television shows with a certain number of writers for a specific period of time. The guild is also seeking compensation during the entire process of pre-production, production and post-production. Currently, writers are often expected to provide revisions or create new material without being paid.

The WGA also shares similar concerns over the use of artificial intelligence when it comes to script writing.

SAG-AFTRA said that producers are unwilling to offer their members a fair deal and have acted to delay negotiations.

In remarks prior to Thursday’s press conference, Drescher described AMPTP’s response to the actors’ offers as “outrageous and disrespectful.”

His comments come after reports surfaced that the studio producers are reportedly planning to implement the tactic against the writers, that is, the producers are not planning to attempt to negotiate with the writers for several months. According to reports, the producers have expectations from the writers. run out of money and possibly lose their homes And will be forced to come to the bargaining table.

While AMPTP has denied these reports, studio executives have been vocal about what they believe to be unreasonable contract requests.

“As an industry we managed to negotiate a very good deal with the Directors Guild, which shows the value of the contribution directors make to this great business.” disney Prior to SAG-AFTRA’s announcement, CEO Bob Iger told CNBC on Thursday morning. “We wanted to do the same with writers. And we want to do the same with actors. There’s a level of expectations from them that’s not realistic. And they’re exacerbating the challenges that this business already faces.” It is, quite frankly, very disruptive.”

Iger said the industry has not fully recovered from the coronavirus pandemic and that the strike has come at “the worst time in the world”.

“It would have a very detrimental effect on the whole business,” he said. “And unfortunately the industry, the people who, you know, give ancillary services, have been hit hard. I can go on and on. It will affect the economy of different sectors, even the business giants Also because of the size. It’s a shame. It’s a real shame.”

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBC is a member of the Universal Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

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