SAG-AFTRA and Studios Reach Agreement, Ending Actors’ Strike

Hollywood Actors’ Strike Ends After Union Reaches Tentative Deal with Major Studios

Hollywood is set to return to life as usual as the prolonged actors’ strike comes to an end following the announcement of a tentative agreement between their union and major studios. The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has unanimously approved the deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), bringing to a close 118 days of negotiations and picketing that brought the U.S. entertainment industry to a standstill.

The Writers’ Guild of America, which joined the actors in the strike in mid-July, had already reached a deal with major Hollywood studios earlier, enabling writers to go back to work. SAG-AFTRA emphasized the significance of the deal in addressing industry-wide concerns, expressing optimism that the negotiated terms would lead to positive changes for its members.

Valued at over $1 billion, the contract represents a landmark achievement for SAG-AFTRA members, with “above-pattern” minimum compensation increases, groundbreaking provisions for consent and compensation to protect against artificial intelligence threats, and the introduction of a streaming participation bonus. The comprehensive deal also includes a myriad of improvements across various categories, addressing the needs of background performers and introducing critical contract provisions to protect diverse communities within the industry.

The national board of SAG-AFTRA is scheduled to convene to deliberate on the terms of the tentative deal, with details to be disclosed after the board’s meeting. The strike, initiated in mid-July, saw members of SAG-AFTRA walk off the job to call for higher minimum salaries, a better share of streaming service revenue, and protection against the looming threat of being replaced by artificial intelligence-generated “digital replicas.”

Negotiators from SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP reached a preliminary agreement on a new contract, marking a significant breakthrough in the negotiations. Pending the approval of the deal by union members in the coming weeks, this resolution paves the way for Hollywood to resume full-scale production for the first time since May.

Actors have expressed relief that the strike will be over, noting that most are not wealthy like the “big celebrities” who can afford not to work during the prolonged strike. They have voiced concerns about compensation, with jobbing actors seeing revenues from residuals dwindle with the rise of streaming platforms, making it challenging to earn a living wage.

The fear of potential ramifications of artificial intelligence in the industry added an extra layer of urgency to the negotiations. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) has gone on strike against film and TV studios only three times in its history, making this strike particularly significant.

The resolution of the strike is a significant development for the entertainment industry, and the deal is expected to bring about positive changes for actors and other industry professionals.

The strike has drawn to a close, leaving a significant impact on the industry, and the coming weeks will be crucial as union members vote on the approval of the contract. For now, Hollywood is preparing to get back to work, and the deal is seen as a stepping stone towards a more stable and sustainable career for actors and other industry professionals.


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