Hollywood bracing for actors to join writers on strike

The Actors Guild has authorized to strike if a deal with Hollywood studios, producers and streaming services is not reached by July 12 at midnight.
Posted at 10:03 AM, Jul 10, 2023

Hollywood actors may soon join screenwriters on the picket line, with just days left for them to reach a deal with studios, streaming services and production companies.

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the companies that employ them have until Wednesday at midnight to agree on a new labor agreement. If negotiations stall, then Hollywood could see its first two-union strike in more than 60 years.

The contract between SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers was originally set to expire June 30. That's until both sides agreed to extend that deadline until July 12 at midnight. 

"Neither organization will comment to the media about the negotiations during the session," SAG-AFTRA said in a statement. 

The Screen Actors Guild hasn't been on strike since 1980 when thousands of actors walked off the job for several months and nearly all film and TV production came to a grinding halt. The last time the writers and actors unions were simultaneously on strike was in 1960 when then-SAG president and future U.S. President Ronald Reagan led a six-week walkout. 

Some 11,000 Hollywood writers have been picketing for more than two months after labor negotiations stalled. The strike has disrupted multiple television projects, including late-night talk shows and future projects. Many shows have stopped producing new content altogether and turned to airing past episodes to fill TV time slots. 

If the Actors Guild follows suit and joins the writers in protest, Hollywood could come to a near full-stop. Both sides are demanding increased base pay, better working conditions, and protections from what they see as a threat in artificial intelligence.

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