Actors Union to Go on Strike
A union representing some 160,000 Hollywood actors is about to go on strike after talks with major studios and streaming services failed. It will be the first time its members have stopped working on productions of film and television since 1980, after a final day of negotiations on Wednesday failed to produce an agreement.
Insulting and Disrespectful Offers
Fran Drescher, president of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), said the studio management’s offers were “insulting and disrespectful.” The union said its bargaining committee had unanimously recommended a strike and that its board of directors will vote on that recommendation Thursday morning. The SAG-AFTRA National Board will be announced at a press conference at 12:00 pm ET, Pamela Greenwalt, SAG-AFTRA director of communications and marketing, told CNN on Thursday.
Support from Late Night Hosts
Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, and Seth Meyers support the writers and screenwriters on strike. Its members had already voted 98% in favor of authorizing the strike.
Disappointment from Studios and Streaming Services
The body that represents studios and streaming services declared itself “deeply disappointed” by the decision to go on strike, claiming it had offered “historic” wage increases. News of the upcoming strike comes after a two-week extension of the union contract expired.
Joint Strike with Writers Guild of America
SAG-AFTRA members will now join the more than 11,000 members of the Writers Guild of America, on strike against the same studios since early May. That strike had already halted production of most scripted movies and TV shows. There has been no apparent progress in ending it. Now it is feared that, as the actors join the writers’ strike, the walkouts will continue throughout the summer and even until the end of the year.
Impact on Productions
The actors’ strike is expected to paralyze most of the remaining productions, with the exception of some independent films not associated with major studios. Hollywood actors and screenwriters have not been on strike at the same time since 1960 when former US President Ronald Reagan, then an actor, was the president of SAG, precursor of SAG-AFTRA.