Hollywood Actor Joins Writers in Historic Strike


LOS ANGELES (AP) – Hollywood Actors Guild leaders on Thursday voted to include screenwriters in their first joint strike in more than 60 years, breaking down negotiations for new deals with studios and streaming services. As a result, production was halted throughout the entertainment industry.

It will be the first time since 1960, when Ronald Reagan was president of the Actors Guild, that both major Hollywood unions have gone on strike at the same time.

Actors Guild president and former “The Nanny” star Fran Drescher denounced industry executives in an impassioned speech after the midnight strike was announced.

“Employers are prioritizing Wall Street and greed, forgetting the key contributors who run the machine,” Drescher said. “It’s disgusting. Shame on them. They’re on the wrong side of history.”

Hours earlier, the three-year contract expired and negotiations between the Screen Actors Guild, Federation of American Television and Radio Artists and the Alliance of Film and Television Producers, which represents employers such as Disney, Netflix and Amazon, broke down. .

Outside Netflix’s Hollywood offices, picketed screenwriters yelled, “Pay the actors!” Shortly after the strike was declared. The actors will begin picketing with writers in front of studio headquarters in New York and Los Angeles on Friday.

“Looks like it’s time to do away with masks. And grab your autograph,” Oscar-winner Jamie Lee Curtis wrote on Instagram with a photo of the tragic and humorous mask that symbolizes her acting. posted.

The London premiere of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer was moved up an hour to allow the cast to walk the red carpet before the SAG Board of Directors’ announcement. Stars such as Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt and Matt Damon walked out of the event when the strike was announced.

The strike, the first for a film or television actor since 1980, overshadowed the upcoming 75th Emmy Awards, where nominations were announced the day before. Union rules prohibit actors from conducting interviews or promotions before or after awards, and they cannot appear at awards ceremonies.

The strike rules also bar actors from appearing personally on podcasts or premieres or promoting their work. In addition, production work such as auditions, recitations, rehearsals, and narrations that accompany the actual filming is also prohibited.

International filming can technically continue, but the shutdown of US-based writers and performers is also likely to have an impact.

Disney President Bob Iger has warned that the strike will have “a very negative impact on the industry as a whole.”

“This is the worst time in the world to accelerate that chaos,” Iger told CNBC. “They have unrealistic levels of expectations.”

The Actors Guild contract and negotiations were extended for nearly two weeks, but the animosity between the two groups only increased. Drescher said he felt the extension “felt cheated. Maybe it was so the studio could promote the summer movies for another 12 days.”

Before talks began on June 7, the 65,000 actors who voted voted for union leaders in the same way the Writers Guild of America did when the deal expired more than two months ago. Voted overwhelmingly to send them 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.

While celebrities make up the majority, the strikes also include tens of thousands of unknown actors competing for bit parts, sometimes with little pay. The union says it has run out of modest but vital sources of income, such as long-term balances from shows it appears on.

Issues in the negotiations include inflation and the streaming ecosystem eroding such wages, performers say, welfare benefits, a growing tendency to force performers to create video auditions at their own expense, and the anarchy of artificial intelligence. including threats of unauthorized use.

“In this moment of streaming, AI and digital pervasiveness, the industry we once knew was broken,” Drescher said, to applause from fellow union leaders. “When I made ‘The Nanny’ everyone was on the gravy train. Now it’s a vacuum.”

The AMPTP said it had presented a generous deal that included the biggest minimum wage hike in 35 years, higher pension and health insurance premium caps, and “groundbreaking AI proposals to protect actors’ digital likenesses.” rice field.

“A strike is certainly not the result we wanted, as no studio can operate without the performers who bring our TV shows and films to life,” the group said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the union has chosen a path that has created financial hardship for countless people who depend on this industry.”

SAG-AFTRA represents over 160,000 film actors, broadcast journalists, announcers, hosts and stunt performers. The strike will only affect actors in television and film production who voted overwhelmingly to allow union leaders to call the strike before talks began on June 7. In a statement, the Broadway actors said they were “in solidarity” with SAG-AFTRA workers.

The Writers Guild of America’s 11,500 members have been on strike since negotiations broke down and their contracts expired on May 2. The suspension shows no signs of resolution and there are no plans for negotiations.

The strike immediately forced late-night talk shows and “Saturday Night Live,” as well as several scripted shows including Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” Max’s “Hux,” and Fox’s “Family Guy.” Closed. Writers’ rooms and production were suspended. Now that the performers have also withdrawn, more will follow them.


Associated Press reporter Sian Watson in London, Christa Faulia in Los Angeles, and Jake Coyle and Jocelyn Novek in New York contributed to this article. For more information on the Hollywood strikes, please visit Hollywood Actor Joins Writers in Historic Strike

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