The strike by the Hollywood actors’ union commenced at midnight on Thursday after negotiations with production studios failed to yield a new contract agreement. This industry-wide walkout marks the first strike involving actors and writers in 63 years and effectively brings the massive movie and television business to a standstill.
At 0701 GMT, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA), which represents approximately 160,000 actors, tweeted a black picture along with the message, “12:01 a.m. PT That’s a wrap!” SAG-AFTRA had issued a strike order following unsuccessful talks with studios regarding declining wages and concerns about the impact of artificial intelligence.
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher described this moment as historic and critical, emphasizing the need for collective action to prevent the replacement of actors by machines and corporate interests. The union’s unanimous vote to strike came after a press conference.
Prior to the actors’ strike, writers had already spent 11 weeks protesting outside the headquarters of major companies like Disney and Netflix, demanding improved pay and assurances regarding the use of artificial intelligence. Movie studios have already begun rearranging their release schedules, and if the strikes continue, major film premieres could be postponed.
The strike will prevent actors from participating in promotional activities for some of the year’s biggest releases, coinciding with the peak of the summer blockbuster season. Drescher expressed her frustration, stating that SAG-AFTRA was deceived into extending negotiations for two weeks by studios that wanted to promote their movies. However, the additional time did not yield any significant results.
During the two-week negotiation period, major premieres took place worldwide for blockbusters such as Warner’s “Barbie,” Universal’s “Oppenheimer,” and Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One.” In solidarity with the strike, the cast of “Oppenheimer” walked out of their London premiere.
SAG-AFTRA represents a range of actors, from A-list stars like Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, and Glenn Close to day players with smaller roles in television series. The last actors’ strike occurred in 1980 and lasted over three months. This time, approximately 98 percent of SAG-AFTRA members voted to authorize industrial action if an agreement was not reached.
The union has highlighted the severe erosion of actors’ pay due to the rise of the streaming industry and warned of the existential threat posed by artificial intelligence to creative professions.
The provided information is intended for general awareness and may not be entirely accurate or up-to-date. The post disclaims any warranties regarding the completeness, accuracy, or reliability of the content, services, or graphics on the website. It advises caution when using the information for any purpose.