An announcement is certainly looming that SAG-AFTRA,The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which represents over 160,000 members, will be going on strike as they were unable to reach a deal with mega-studios like Netflix, Disney, Warner Bros., and Amazon. The announcement is expected to come at 12 noon PST.
What does this mean?
Well, we can certainly expect to see a halt in any and all film and television production. When the announcement is made, actors will not only walk off set, but they will also cease all promotion, including red carpets and premieres.
“AMPTP’s responses to the union’s most important proposals have been insulting and disrespectful of our massive contributions to this industry,” said SAG president, Fran Drescher. “The companies have refused to meaningfully engage on some topics and on others completely stonewalled us. Until they do negotiate in good faith, we cannot begin to reach a deal.”
A strike involving both the WGA and SAG has not happened since the 1960’s, when Ronald Reagan was the SAG Union President. However, this time, 98% of members voted in favor of striking.
In his statement to the media, SAG-AFTRA’s national executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said, “The studios and streamers have implemented massive unilateral changes in our industry’s business model, while at the same time insisting on keeping our contracts frozen in amber. Their refusal to meaningfully engage with our key proposals and the fundamental disrespect shown to our members is what has brought us to this point. The studios and streamers have underestimated our members’ resolve, as they are about to fully discover.”
The WGA has been striking for three months as of this writing, and SAG seems hopeful that their solidarity in striking for better pay and the limiting of AI in creative projects (such as screenwriting and facial augmentation) will lead to more fruitful negotiations. However, quotes and statements are now coming out that the studios intend to wait out the writers and lesser paid actors. “The endgame is to allow things to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses,” one unnamed studio executive told Deadline.