Hollywood actors are set to join forces with screenwriters in a historic strike action, following the approval of a member walkout by the national board of the SAG-AFTRA union. This marks a significant moment as both actors and writers unite in a collective effort.
Negotiators representing the union unanimously recommended the strike after talks with studios reached an impasse. As a result, scripted TV and movie production will come to an immediate halt. This joint work stoppage by actors and writers is the first of its kind in 63 years, underscoring the gravity of the situation.
In a parallel development, the ongoing strike by the Writers Guild of America, which began in early May, has influenced the demands of both actors and writers. They are advocating for increased base pay and residuals in the streaming TV era, as well as assurances that their creative work will not be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI).
Hollywood actors and writers join forces on strike action
Both the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA find themselves locked in a dispute with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
Fran Drescher, renowned for her role in “The Nanny” and serving as the president of SAG-AFTRA, expressed her discontent with the studios’ responses, deeming them “insulting and disrespectful” towards the concerns of actors.
SAG-AFTRA announced that the strike, fueled by grievances over pay, working conditions, and apprehensions surrounding the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI), would commence at midnight in Los Angeles, the physical and spiritual home of the American film industry.
Some of the most recognizable Hollywood actors have come out in support of the strike. “This is an inflection point in our industry,” said George Clooney in support of industrial action. “For our industry to survive that has to change. For actors, that journey starts now.”
Similarly, at the premiere of Barbie, actress Margot Robbie responded when questioned that she “absolutely” supported the strikes and at the premiere for Oppenheimer, Matt Damon said that the strikes were “incredibly important”, adding that “we have to protect people on the margins.”
Production of movies and TV grinds to a halt
The strike will have a profound impact on the continued production of film and television, with several high-profile movies and shows now ground to a halt.
Notable productions affected by the writers’ strike encompass various highly anticipated series such as season five of Stranger Things, season two of The Last Of Us, season six of The Handmaid’s Tale, and the Game Of Thrones spinoff A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight.
With performers joining the strike, the entertainment industry is expected to come to a virtual standstill. As a consequence, the upcoming autumn TV schedule is widely anticipated to be dominated by reality TV programming.
Several high-profile Hollywood film productions are now also facing delays due to the strike actions, including Gladiator 2 and Deadpool 3.