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Months Long Actors’ Strike Comes to an End!

SAG-AFTRA strike ends
Credit: Eden, Janine, and Jim, Flickr

On Friday, July 14, the Screen Actors Guild announced that its more than 150,000 members would be going on strike. Hollywood practically came to a halt. That’s because, in addition to the actors, Hollywood writers were also on strike. The Writers Guild had been on strike since early May, and now two of Hollywood’s biggest unions were refusing to work with the studios.

Meredith Stiehm, left, president of Writers Guild of America West, and Fran Drescher, president of SAG-AFTRA

Credit: Herman de Keyperling, Flickr

Related: Americans Support Strikes, Not Disney and Studios, in New Poll

When the WGA strike ended on September 27, many were hopeful that a deal would soon be reached between SAG and the AMPTP — the Alliance of Motion Picture and Theater Producers. Sadly, that was not the case. SAG met with the AMPTP negotiating team — which included Disney CEO Bob Iger — a number of times, but things seemed to go from bad to worse.

But now, we have some exciting news to share! The SAG-AFTRA strike has come to an end!

SAG AFTRA Strike

Credit: Eden, Janine, and Jim, Flickr

On the evening of November 8, the Screen Actors Guild and the AMPTP announced that they had reached a tentative agreement to end the months-long strike.

According to Deadline Hollywood, the strike will end at 12:01 a.m. on November 9, after the 17-member SAG-AFTRA board unanimously voted to tentatively approve the new agreement.

The tentative agreement follows the studios responding on November 3 to the guild’s last comprehensive counter with a self-described “historic” package. That was succeeded less than 24 hours later by an expanded group of studio leaders — including execs from Paramount, Amazon, Apple and more — joining the Gang of Four to brief SAG-AFTRA on the AMPTP’s new offer, which was said to include big gains in wages and bonuses as well as sweeping AI protections.

SAG AFTRA Strike

Credit: Eden, Janine, and Jim, Flickr

At this time, we do not have any details of the new contracts that SAG has approved. But we do know many of the major concerns that SAG-AFTRA wanted to be addressed in their new contracts.

At the top of the list were things that focused on streaming and artificial intelligence.

Disney Plus

Credit: Disney

Related: Bob Chapek Sued by Investors For LYING About Disney+

Studios have been notoriously quiet when it comes to their actual streaming numbers. Disney is not exempt from that. Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek was even called out for allegedly being deceptive about how many subscribers Disney+ actually had. For each person who lived in the household, Disney counted them as separate subscribers, even though they all shared one account.

Bob Chapek Disney Integration

Credit: Disney

SAG — as well as the WGA — wanted studios to be more transparent about actual streaming numbers. More transparency will also be vital when it comes to how much the actors are paid in residuals. Residuals are paychecks that actors will get when their projects are re-aired (like in syndication) or streamed on a service like Disney+.

During the strike, actors were sharing their stories about receiving residual paychecks for as low as zero dollars.

Robert Carradine Disney Residual

Credit: Disney/Robert Carradine

Artificial intelligence was another major point of division between the studios and SAG. The actors wanted protections against their voices and likenesses being created and used by artificial intelligence without the actors receiving proper compensation. Marvel star Scarlet Johansson is even suing a company for using her voice and likeness without her permission.

The only step left to bring the strike to an official end is for SAG-AFTRA members to vote on the new contract offer.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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