For the first time since 1960, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) has joined more than 10,000 members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) on the picket lines. This comes as Hollywood actors go on strike at midnight following failed talks with studios, aligning with the film and television writers who have been on picket lines since May. The strike further intensifies the disruption of numerous shows and movies in production.
According to reports, SAG, representing 160,000 film and television actors, and WGA are both demanding increased base pay and residuals in the era of streaming TV. They are also seeking assurances that their work will not be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI).
The strike officially begins at midnight after the national board of SAG unanimously voted to authorize the walkout. The actors’ union made the announcement on Thursday after the deadline to reach a new contract expired on Wednesday.
Fran Drescher, former star of “The Nanny” and president of SAG-AFTRA, expressed disappointment with the studios’ response to actors’ concerns, describing it as insulting and disrespectful. He stated, “I am shocked by the way the people that we have been in business with are treating us.” Drescher further expressed disbelief at the significant disparities on multiple issues and the studios’ claims of financial constraints while allocating substantial sums to CEOs, which he found appalling.
In response, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the trade association negotiating on behalf of production companies including Netflix and Walt Disney Co, expressed deep disappointment with SAG-AFTRA’s decision to walk away from negotiations.