Hollywood actors’ union reaches historic deal to end 4-month strike

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (Sag-Aftra) has unanimously agreed to a tentative deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers (AMPTP) to bring an end to a crippling four-month strike. This agreement signals a pivotal moment for the film and television world and a significant victory for the union’s members.

The strike, which had paralysed the industry in conjunction with a separate writers’ strike, had severely disrupted major films and TV shows, causing extensive delays and production setbacks. Actors were primarily advocating for improved pay and protections against the misuse of artificial intelligence in their industry.

Sag-Aftra President Fran Drescher expressed her elation on social media, thanking the union members for their perseverance. Actors across Hollywood echoed her sentiment, with celebrities like Zac Efron, Octavia Spencer, and Mandy Moore celebrating the end of the strike.

The three-year contract, valued at more than $1 billion, offers substantial benefits to the union’s members. This deal includes increases in minimum salaries, a new “streaming participation” bonus, and crucial safeguards to prevent the replication of actors’ images and voices by artificial intelligence. Furthermore, the strike is officially set to conclude on Thursday, with more details to be unveiled following a meeting on Friday.

While there were mixed emotions among the negotiating committee members, who acknowledged that not all of the union’s demands were met, the overall sentiment was one of relief and optimism. The AMPTP expressed its contentment with the tentative agreement, emphasizing that it provides Sag-Aftra with remarkable contract gains in the history of the union.

The strike’s extensive impact rippled across Hollywood and beyond, delaying numerous high-profile projects and affecting events such as awards ceremonies. The combination of the actors’ and writers’ strikes is estimated to have cost the California economy more than $6.5 billion. However, the resolution is expected to bring stability back to the industry and allow it to resume telling great stories on both the big and small screens.

As Hollywood prepares to get back to work, the union’s members and industry professionals are relieved that the strike, which had halted production and disrupted lives, has finally come to an end.

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