Hollywood shutdown: SAG-AFTRA, union of 160K actors, votes to strike – National

Hollywood Actors Guild leaders on Thursday voted to include screenwriters in their first joint strike in more than 60 years, after negotiations for new deals with studios and streaming services fell apart. Production was halted across the entertainment industry.

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, executive director of the Screen Actors Guild and Federation of Radio and Television Artists of America, said at a press conference that union leadership had been shut down hours after his contract expired and negotiations with the Motion Picture Alliance broke down. He said he voted yes. Television producer representing employers including Disney, Netflix, Amazon and more.

“A strike is a last resort,” he said. Union leaders said at a press conference that they had voted unanimously in favor of starting the strike at midnight. Outside Netflix’s Hollywood offices, picketed screenwriters yelled, “Pay the actors!” Shortly after the strike was announced.

It was the first time since 1980 that actors from movies and TV shows have gone on strike. It’s also the first time both Hollywood’s major unions have gone on strike at the same time since Ronald Reagan was president of the Actors Guild in 1960.

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“Employers are prioritizing Wall Street and greed, forgetting the key contributors who run the machine,” said SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher. “Shame on them. They are on the wrong side of history.”

Christopher Nolan premieres as cancellation looms oppenheimer The London show was moved up an hour to allow the cast to walk the red carpet before the SAG Board of Directors announced.

The impending strike has also overshadowed the upcoming 75th Emmy Awards, where the nominations were announced the day before.

Disney President Bob Iger warned on Thursday that an actor’s strike would be “very bad for the industry as a whole.”

“This is the worst time in the world, with more turmoil,” Iger said on CNBC. “The level of expectation (for SAG-AFTRA and WGA) is unrealistic.”

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Hollywood actors join picket line with writers on strike, first double walk-off since ’60s

Nearly two weeks of contract extensions and negotiations only heightened the animosity between the two groups.

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Before talks began on June 7, the 65,000 actors who voted told union leaders the same way the Writers Guild of America did when the deal expired more than two months ago. They voted overwhelmingly to go on strike.

As the first deadline approached in late June, more than 1,000 union members, including Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence and Bob Odenkirk, added their names to a letter to their leaders expressing their willingness to strike.

Bargaining stakes included both base and residual salaries, but officials said these wages were undermined by inflation and the threat of the streaming ecosystem, benefits and unregulated use of artificial intelligence. claims to be.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents the studios, said earlier it was disappointed that no deal had been reached.

“This is the union’s choice, not ours. rejected our proposals, including a groundbreaking AI proposal to protect the digital likeness of said in a statement.

The Actors Guild has so far approved the strike by a margin of nearly 98%. Actors are on strike, so they’re officially joining screenwriters picketing lines outside studios and on set to get better terms from studios and streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon.

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Members of the Writers Guild of America have been on strike since early May, delaying film and TV series production on both coasts and other production centers. Issues in the negotiations include the unregulated use of artificial intelligence and the impact on residual wages brought about by the streaming ecosystem that has emerged in recent years. The actors continued the picket line in solidarity with the writers for several weeks.

Actors’ strikes can prevent performers from working on sets or promoting projects.

Actor Matt Damon, who attended a photo event on Wednesday, said he hopes everyone can avoid a strike, but many actors need fair contracts to survive.

“We have to kind of protect people on the fringes,” Damon told the Associated Press. “And you have to make $26,000 a year to get health insurance. , their medical care will also be depleted, and that is absolutely unacceptable.It can’t be, so we had to find a fair one.”

The impending strike is casting a shadow over the upcoming 75th annual Emmy Awards. The candidates were announced on Wednesday and many had the strike in mind.

“People are standing up and saying, ‘This doesn’t really work, people need to get paid fairly,'” said the Oscar actress, who won her first Emmy nomination Wednesday for her role as Tammy Wynette. says Jessica Chastain. George and Tammytold the Associated Press.

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“There are clearly streamers who have changed the way we work and the way we work, but the deals haven’t kept up with the innovation that has happened.”

“The impact of this strike on the industry and events like ours is undeniable. We urge our partners and colleagues to resume open dialogue. We look forward to a speedy resolution in the coming weeks.” We will continue to plan for this year’s festival,” said Alejandra Sosa, director of communications for the Toronto International Film Festival.

© 2023 Canadian Press

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