SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood studios reach a tentative agreement to resolve the strike
Category: News & PoliticsVia: perrie-halpern • 3 weeks ago • 2 comments
By: Chloe Melas and Daniel Arkin
Hollywood actors are heading back to work.
SAG-AFTRA, the union representing more than 150,000 film and television performers, reached a tentative deal on a new contract with the entertainment world's top studios Wednesday — a major step that would revive an industry that has been virtually paralyzed for months.
"In a unanimous vote this afternoon, the SAG-AFTRA TV/Theatrical Committee approved a tentative agreement with the AMPTP bringing an end to the 118-day strike," the actors guild said in a statement, adding that the strike officially ends at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.
SAG-AFTRA said the tentative deal will go to the union's national board Friday for "review and consideration" and that more details will be released after that meeting.
Tens of thousands of actors headed to the picket lines July 14 after SAG-AFTRA failed to reach a deal on a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, a trade group that bargains for studios and streaming services. (The group represents Comcast, which owns NBC News.)
The tentative agreement caps weeks of negotiations that at one point were attended by four of the most powerful executives in modern Hollywood, according to a source familiar with the talks: Disney's Bob Iger, Netflix's Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros. Discovery's David Zaslav and NBCUniversal's Donna Langley.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, or AMPTP, said the tentative deal "represents a new paradigm," including a new residual for streaming and protections around artificial intelligence.
"The AMPTP is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement and looks forward to the industry resuming the work of telling great stories," it said.
Negotiators for the Writers Guild of America, a union representing Hollywood screenwriters, reached their own agreement in September with the studios on a new three-year contract, known as a "minimum basic agreement." The writers strike officially ended at 12:01 a.m. PT on Sept. 27.
The two unions made similar demands, including stricter protections against the use of artificial intelligence, higher base compensation and a bigger cut of streaming profits. Both unions had not been on strike simultaneously since 1960.
The details of the agreement were not immediately released.
The dual strikes virtually shut down Hollywood, halting production on scores of projects — from big-budget movie sequels to network series and streaming originals. Major studios postponed the release of several completed films, such as "Dune: Part Two," because guild rules would have barred actors from promoting their work during the strike.
The labor stoppages also thrust many workaday actors and writers into financially precarious situations.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass hailed the tentative agreement, saying it would "impact nearly every part of our economy."
"I am grateful that a fair agreement has been reached between SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP after a more than 100-day strike that impacted millions in Los Angeles and throughout the country," Bass said in a statement. "Those on the line have been the hardest hit during this period and there have been ripple effects throughout our entire city."
"We must lean in on local production to ensure that our entertainment industry rebounds stronger than ever and our economy is able to get back on its feet," she added.
The strikes came amid intense structural upheaval in Hollywood, which is grappling with how to embrace the digital era, survive the decline of traditional broadcast viewership and manage the rise of AI technologies, which many creatives view as an existential threat.