Hollywood actors authorise strike if there is no agreement with studios


Actors represented by Hollywood’s SAG-AFTRA union voted Monday night to authorise a strike if they do not agree to a new contract with major studios, streaming firms and production companies by June 30.
The strike authorisation passed by an overwhelming margin, nearly 98% of the 65,000 members who voted.

The union, which represents some 160,000 screen actors, television journalists, anchors and stunt people, was beginning negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) about a month after the American Screenwriters Guild began a strike over its own dispute with the AMPTP. If the actors eventually go on strike, it would be limited to film and television productions, while newsreels and other broadcasts would not be directly affected.

The dispute revolves around an increase in base compensation, which actors say has been eroded by inflation and streaming, the threat of unregulated use of artificial intelligence, benefit plans and the burden of “self-recorded auditions” previously paid for by production and casting departments.

“We approach these negotiations with the goal of reaching a new agreement that is beneficial to SAF-AFTRA members and the industry as a whole,” the AMPTP said in a statement on Monday.

The vote to authorise a strike, a bargaining tool, came at a pivotal moment for the industry as 11,500 screenwriters entered a sixth week of strike action and the directors’ union reviewed an in-principle agreement with studios on issues including wages, streaming pay and artificial intelligence. If there is an actors’ strike, an industry already affected by the screenwriters’ strike would come to a virtual standstill, from production to promotion of finished projects.

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