As of the morning of Friday, July 14, 2023, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) with unanimous vote went on strikeafter five weeks of contract negotiations with the Film and Television Producers Alliance (Aliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers; AMPTP). The deadline came to an end on the night of Wednesday, July 12, 2023, without reaching an agreement.
During the negotiations, the SAG gave the AMPTP more time to reach a new compromise.
The actress and president of the SAG, Fran Drescherdeclared during the first day of picketing in the vicinity of the studios and streamers in Hollywood, having suspicions that the studios did not intend to reach a fair agreement:
“They just wanted more time to promote their summer movies and had no intention of using that extension for anything else.”
The SAG joined the strike of the Writers Guild (WGA) what entered into force on May 2, 2023, marking the first time in 63 years that both the Screenwriters and Actors Guilds have gone on strike at the same time over a contract dispute. This is also the first SAG strike since 1980.
One of the SAG strike rules specifies that filming of scripted movies and TV shows employing SAG-AFTRA members must be stopped immediately worldwide (if they are filming, they must stop). .
This was already the case for high-profile productions such as Deadpool 3, Beetlejuice 2y Gladiator 2. And the consequences are already being seen.
According to a report by Variety, the effects of pausing filming on big projects like the ones just mentioned, includes economic losses to the studios of approximately $600,000 usd per week.
Let’s keep in mind that these are movies that employ a large number of talent, behind and in front of the cameras, building large film sets, costumes, etc. How much longer can the situation be sustained? Hollywood studios/streamers apparently have no intention of offering a fair solution to everyone involved in both guilds.
In recent days, Deadline revealed What is the AMPTP strategy against strikes:
“The goal is to allow things to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and houses.”
Among the issues discussed in the negotiations (of both unions) are: the improvement of salaries, higher residual payments derived from streaming, and significant safeguards around the use of artificial intelligenceseeking to ensure that artists consent and are adequately compensated when their performances are ingested into technology.
In the last few days, a lot of information has been surfacing regarding this last topic; Several industry players have admitted to being subjected to full body scanning and full range of emotion capture without knowledge or consent.
There are those who say that the studies would be considering delaying the release dates of their films and series, since there would be no actors to promote them. Other possible side effects would be the suspension of film festivals such as Toronto, Venice, Telluride, which play an important role for Oscar contending films; Likewise, there is talk of the possibility of postponing the 2023 Emmys, scheduled to be broadcast live on September 18, since if the current strike continues, the actors would not be able to attend the ceremony.