Hollywood Actors Ready to Join Screenwriters' Strike
SAG-AFTRA, representing around 160,000 television and film actors, has announced the breakdown of negotiations with Hollywood studios regarding a new contract and has recommended that actors join the ongoing screenwriters' strike, which has been going on for over 70 days. Deadline reports.
The previous three-year contract between the union and the studios expired on June 30, but its deadline was extended until July 12 for further negotiations.
The actors' demands align with many of the screenwriters' demands, including higher wages, better terms from streaming services, and restrictions on the use of artificial intelligence that could lead to job losses in the industry.
The last dual strike of actors and screenwriters in Hollywood occurred in the 1960s when Ronald Reagan led the Screen Actors Guild.
At the end of June, over 1,000 actors, including Meryl Streep, John Leguizamo, Jennifer Lawrence, Constance Wu, and Ben Stiller, signed a letter to the leadership of the Actors Guild, explicitly stating their readiness to strike.
"Companies have refused to seriously address certain issues. Until they negotiate in good faith, we won't be able to reach an agreement," said SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher.
Following the screenwriters' strike announcement, many productions were halted, although projects with completed scripts are continuing. Dual protests could lead to the suspension of screenings of films and TV shows involving SAG-AFTRA members not only in the United States but worldwide.
"We are deeply disappointed that SAG-AFTRA has chosen to walk away from negotiations. This is the union's choice, not ours," said a statement from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, negotiating on behalf of Hollywood companies.
The strikes are also expected to have a negative impact on the advertising of major summer films. The premiere of the film "Oppenheimer" in London was postponed by an hour to allow actors to participate in potential protests. The global premieres of other major commercial films, such as "Barbie" and "Mission: Impossible," have already taken place, but their stars will be prohibited from participating in further promotional events.
Additionally, the strikes may lead to the postponement of the Emmy Awards ceremony until late autumn or even next year, according to entertainment industry publications.