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HomeWORLD NEWSAfter failed contract negotiations, Hollywood stars prepare for strike action.

After failed contract negotiations, Hollywood stars prepare for strike action.

Hollywood actors might soon play the part of picketers.

The powerful labor union SAG-AFTRA, which stands for the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which represents thousands of screen actors, is on the verge of calling a strike after the guild and a trade group representing the top studios in the sector failed to reach a new contract agreement.

SAG-AFTRA stated in a statement early on Thursday that its contracts for television, theater, and streaming “have expired without a successor agreement.” It wants better pay and protections for the use of artificial intelligence in the creative industries.

After more than four weeks of negotiations, the union representing major studios and streaming services like Amazon, Apple, Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount, Sony, and Warner Bros. “remains unwilling to provide a just deal on the critical issues that are important to SAG-AFTRA members.”

A news conference is scheduled for 12:00 PT on Thursday when the union’s national board meets to discuss whether to issue a strike call.

“SAG-AFTRA negotiated in good faith and was eager to reach a deal that sufficiently addressed performer needs,” said SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher. “However, the AMPTP’s responses to the union’s most significant proposals have been insulting and disrespectful of our massive contributions to this industry.”

After days of intense talks and anxiety, the contract between the two parties ended just before midnight on Wednesday.

Productions for movies and TV will be exempt from the strike. The news industry’s SAG-AFTRA members, such as certain TV hosts and announcers, will not participate in the strike.

The announcement comes more than two months after the Writers Guild of America, a union that advocates for screenwriters in the film and television industries, began going on strike over its own spat with the AMPTP.

Some NBCUniversal News Group personnel are covered by the WGA, which is the organization that represents Comcast, the company that owns NBCUniversal.)

Most television production was suspended as a result of the writers’ strike, which also caused some high-profile movies to be postponed and forced late-night talk shows to air repeats. Other sets can go black as a result of the actors’ strike.

On June 5, an overwhelming majority of the approximately 65,000 SAG-AFTRA members who cast ballots approved a strike: 97.91%. Two days later, the guild started talks with the leading production companies and streaming platforms.

The union’s current contract with the major studios was due to expire at midnight on June 30; however, both parties reached an agreement to continue talks and extended the deadline to July 12.

According to SAG-AFTRA, emerging technology and the new economics of streaming entertainment have put performers in danger.

The guild is requesting a raise in the base pay for actors, which union leaders claim has decreased as streaming-first studios have shifted away from providing residuals to talent and as inflation has taken a toll on the economy as a whole.

The union’s performers are also concerned about the threat posed by the unrelated use of artificial intelligence (such as technologies that can create synthetic replacements for known stars) and the price of “self-taped auditions” — videos that were before paid for by casting departments and production offices.

SAG-AFTRA, the WGA, and the Directors Guild of America, or DGA, are the three major Hollywood guilds. In recent weeks, some in the entertainment industry have been concerned that all three organizations will strike at once.

However, this won’t be the case because the DGA declared in early June that it had secured a “truly historic” provisional agreement with the studios.



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