The actors strike is over as union reaches tentative agreement with studios

Hollywood actors have been on strike since July

Tom Murray
Thursday 09 November 2023 06:38 GMT
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The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has reached a tentative agreement with Hollywood film and television studios, ending 118 days of strike action.

“The strike officially ends at 12.01am on Thursday, 9 November,” SAG-AFTRA told The Independent in a statement.

“The tentative deal will go to the SAG-AFTRA National Board on Friday, 10 November, 2023, for review and consideration. Further details will be released following that meeting.”

The news comes one month after the Writers Guild of America (WGA) struck a deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), ending a 146-day strike of their own.

Both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA, which began striking on 19 July, were seeking assurances over artificial intelligence, an increase in residual pay and updates on pension and health contribution caps.

On Saturday (4 November), the AMPTP submitted what it called its “best and final offer” to the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee. “We didn’t just come toward you, we came all the way to you,” Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos Sarandos told guild leaders.

However, on Monday, the actors’ union said there were still “several essential items” that they couldn’t agree with, including AI guidelines.

Actor Joely Fisher (left), SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher (centre) and Duncan Crabtree-Ireland (right), SAG-AFTRA national executive director and chief negotiator

The terms of the new three-year contract have not yet been revealed. On Friday, the deal will go to the union’s national board for approval.

The six months of Hollywood strikes are estimated to have cost the Southern California economy more than $6.5bn and 45,000 entertainment industry jobs, according to Deadline.

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The actors’ strike has led to delays and suspensions in the production of many major TV shows and films including Wicked, Deadpool 3 and Mission Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part 2.

“They’re gonna lose so much money,” Titanic star Frances Fisher said of the film studios in an interview with The Independent outside Paramount Studios last month. “They have already lost money. They’ve lost more money than the price of our package and the WGA package combined.”

After the strikes passed 100 days, both sides faced increased pressure to reach an agreement. George Clooney and a group of 15 other A-listers went so far as offering SAG-AFTRA a deal worth $150m (£123.7m) to end the strike.

They proposed a no-cap fee on membership dues for higher earners, which they said would bring in earnings of $50m (£41m) annually.

“A lot of the top earners want to be part of the solution,” Clooney told Deadline.

“We think it’s fair for us to pay more into the union,” the Ocean’s Eleven star added. “These negotiations will be ongoing, but we wanted to show that we’re all in this together and find ways to help close the gap on actors getting paid.”

The Independent has contacted the AMPTP for comment.

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