SAG-AFTRA will strike, and this is a huge deal! This is the first time in 60 years that both the actors and writers are on strike. Read more about the strike, its effects on the industry and the Unions and executives reactions inside.
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The historic double strike comes after the union, representing nearly all TV and film actors, called the strike due to them not securing a new contract with major studios. The SAG-AFTRA strike means a near-total film and TV production shutdown as actors will skip premieres, fan events, press junkets and more. This will impact the upcoming fall TV season as talent represented by SAG-AFTRA will not be allowed to participate in any upcoming filming or appearances.
The Directors Guild of America (DGA) may have come to their own terms to avoid striking, but what will they do with no scripts or actors to direct?
The national board for the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) officially announced the strike at a 3 p.m. news conference on Thursday (July 13) after meeting and voting in favor of the labor action in the hours after the Wednesday deadline expired for a new agreement. Television and radio journalists, who are also SAG-AFTRA members, are not included in the strike.
“A strike is an instrument of last resort,” SAG-AFTRA’s national executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said in the conference. “Although we are disappointed with their reluctance to cooperate, the solidarity of the SAG-AFTRA members has never been stronger.”
They will join an ongoing walkout by Hollywood writers for the first time in 63 years.
Industry writers, actors and fans are disappointed in the cruelty of Hollywood studio executives. One Deadline article mentions a studio executive’s direct quote and cold-as-ice approach, saying, “The endgame is to allow things to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses,” and called that line of thinking “a cruel but necessary evil.”
They would prefer writers starve themselves and their families before coming to terms and meeting their demands.
On the flipside, Disney chief executive Bob Iger slammed SAG’s requests calling the demands, “Not realistic.”
Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers spokesperson Scott Rowe spoke to their position in the strike saying, “A strike is certainly not the outcome we hoped for as studios cannot operate without the performers that bring our TV shows and films to life.”
Neither union has publicly shared how the negotiations have progressed.
However, Rowe added more on the strike’s impact saying, “The Union has regrettably chosen a path that will lead to financial hardship for countless thousands of people who depend on the industry.”
He added more to his statement saying the actors’ union, “dismissed our offer of historic pay and residual increases, substantially higher caps on pension and health contributions, audition protections, shortened series option periods, a groundbreaking AI proposal that protects actors’ digital likenesses and more.”
In terms of how the studios are impacted by all of this, Iger goes on to share the impending effects of Covid on the business.
“It’s very disturbing to me,” he said. “We’ve talked about disruptive forces on this business and all the challenges that we’re facing and the recovery from covid, which is ongoing; it’s not completely back.”
Iger decried “huge collateral damage” the strike would have on support services in the industry.
“I respect their right and their desire to get as much as they possibly can in compensation for their people,” he continued. “But you also have to be realistic about the business environment and what this business can deliver.”
This all sucks for talent, writers, and the fans who love the entertainment.
We wonder which of our favorite Fall shows might be impacted by these changes. (Please don’t take ‘Abbott Elementary’ from us we beg of you).
Picketing is set to begin Friday (July 14) morning as SAG will join WGA, who has been hard at work for the past three months. Stay tuned for more updates on the impending SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes.
In the meantime, listen to SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher’s speech over the “Ether” beat:
SAG-AFTRA Joins WGA In Historic Double Strike That Will Shut Hollywood Down was originally published on globalgrind.com
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