Breaking News: SAG-AFTRA Actors Join WGA Writers in Historic Double Strike

Leaders of SAG-AFTRA, a Hollywood labor union representing about 160,000 television and film actors, went on strike Thursday, joining members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA), who have been on strike for the past two months.

The actors' strike will begin at midnight Thursday, with picketing beginning Friday morning.

In today's events-SAG-AFTRA leadership voted unanimously in favor of the strike after contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) broke down. The three-year contract between the two organizations expired at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday after an extension was granted on June 30 to continue talks.

Going forward - The strike will halt all film and television productions involving SAG-AFTRA members. In addition, unionized actors will also stop their promotional activities, such as red carpets and press conferences.

Historical Background This is the second time in Hollywood history that actors and screenwriters will strike at the same time. The last time was in 1960, when actors and screenwriters were dealing with the popularization of television. At the time, Ronald Reagan was president of the Screen Actors Guild.

Why are the actors striking - While there are several unresolved issues being discussed by both sides involved in the strike, the two biggest concerns that the union wants addressed are the incredible changes caused by the introduction of streaming and the The two biggest concerns the union would like to see addressed are the incredible changes caused by the introduction of streaming and the increased use of artificial intelligence in entertainment production. The union argues that the entertainment industry has undergone tremendous change since streaming became widespread, and the contracts under which actors work have not adequately adapted to the changes. With further radical changes expected in the near future due to AI, the union felt compelled to take action.

How will this affect animation production - The possibility of an actors' strike has been around for some time, and many upcoming animated films and series have already recorded extensive voice-over work in preparation. Therefore, for the time being, there will be no major impact on animation production, and consumers will not see a drop in new releases from the studios.

In the long run, however, both the SAG-AFTRA strike and the WGA strike could have a significant impact on the Animation Guild's contract negotiations next year; TAG's current contract runs from 2021 to 2024, and workers in the animation industry have been wondering how the current strikes and negotiations must be closely watched to see how they play out.

What they are saying At a press conference Thursday morning, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher said:

When employers put Wall Street and greed first and forget about the essential contributors who keep the machines running, we have a problem and we are just experiencing it. This is a critical time for us. I went into this with a real intention that we would be able to avoid a strike. I, the negotiating committee, and the board members who unanimously voted to go on strike do not understand the gravity of this move. This is a very serious matter that affects thousands, if not millions, of people throughout this country and around the world.

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher's speech to AMPTP was excellent. Historic day.

- Todd Spence (@Todd_Spence) July 13, 2023

AMPTP released this statement:

AMPTP member companies are entering into new mutually beneficial agreements with SAG-AFTRA with the goal of negotiating historic wage increases and residual wage increases, significant caps on pension and health insurance premiums, audition protections, a shortened series option period, and a landmark The AI proposal was presented. Without the performers who bring television shows and movies to life, studios would not be able to operate. The union has regrettably chosen a path that will cause economic hardship to countless others who depend on this industry.

Click here for the full text of SAG-AFTRA's strike order (download PDF).