ANDREW DALTON and LESLIE AMBRIZE (Associated Press)
LOS ANGELES (FloridaToday.news) — A union representing film and television actors says no deal has been reached with studios and streaming services, and its leadership is voting to strike Thursday.
Screen Actors Guild – The American Federation of Television and Radio Actors said early Thursday that its decision to join the already prominent writers will be reviewed by management, with a press conference announcing their decision scheduled for noon PT.
If the actors did go on strike, it would be the first time since 1960 that the actors’ and writers’ guilds would picket at the same time.
The Screen Actors Guild released a statement saying that the deadline for negotiations had expired without a contract. The announcement comes just hours after the nominations for this year’s Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Performance were announced.
“Companies have refused to meaningfully discuss some topics, and on others they have completely fenced us off from us. Until they agree in good faith, we can’t come to an agreement,” said Fran Drescher, star of The Babysitter, who is now president of the Actors Guild.
A group representing the studios, the Motion Picture and Television Producers Alliance, said they were disappointed by the failure to reach a deal.
“This is the choice of the Union, not ours. In doing so, he turned down our offer of historic pay raises and residual raises, significantly higher caps on pension and medical contributions, audition protection, shortened series selection periods, a groundbreaking AI proposal that protects digital images of actors, and more.” – AMPTP . says in the statement.
He added that instead of continuing negotiations, “SAG-AFTRA has set us on a course that will exacerbate financial hardship for thousands of people who depend on the industry for their livelihoods.”
If the actors go on strike, they will officially join the writers on pickets outside studios and film sets to get better terms from studios and streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon. The Actors Guild previously authorized the strike at almost 98%.
Members of the Writers Guild of America have been on strike since early May, slowing down film and television production on both coasts and in production centers like Atlanta.
Negotiating issues include the unregulated use of artificial intelligence and the impact on residual pay caused by the streaming ecosystem that has emerged in recent years.
In a letter to SAG-AFTRA members overnight, Drescher told the cast to prepare for pickets following Thursday’s board vote.
“As you know, over the past decade, your compensation has been hit hard by the growth of the streaming ecosystem,” Drescher wrote. “Furthermore, artificial intelligence is an existential threat to the creative professions, and all actors and performers deserve contractual language that protects them from the exploitation of their personality and talent without consent and payment.”
Speaking to CNBC, Disney chief Bob Iger warned on Thursday morning that the cast strike would have a “very devastating effect on the entire industry.”
“This is the worst time in the world to add to this disruption,” Iger said. “The level of expectations (SAG-AFTRA and WGA) is simply unrealistic.”
The actors joined the writers on pickets for several weeks in solidarity. The actors’ strike will prevent performers from working on set or promoting their projects.
Due to the impending shutdown, the London premiere of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer has been pushed back an hour to allow the cast to walk the red carpet before the SAG board is announced.
Attending Wednesday’s photo shoot, Oppenheimer co-star Matt Damon said that while everyone hoped the strike could be averted, many actors need a fair contract to survive.
“We have to protect people who are kind of on the sidelines,” Damon told AP. “And $26,000 a year is what you have to earn to get health insurance. And there are many people whose residual payments are what help them get over that threshold. And if those residual payments dry up, so will their healthcare. And this is absolutely unacceptable. We can’t have it. So we have to come up with something fair.”
The impending strike overshadowed the upcoming 75th Primetime Emmy Awards. The nominations were announced on Wednesday and the strike was on the minds of many of the nominees.
“People stand up and say, ‘This doesn’t really work and people should be paid fairly,'” said Oscar winner Jessica Chastain, who was nominated for her first Emmy Award for her role as Tammy Wynette in “George & Tammy.” . AP. “It’s very clear that there are certain streamers that have really changed the way we work and the way we’ve worked and the contracts really don’t match the innovation that’s happened.”
Associated Press journalists Sian Watson in London and Jake Coyle and Jocelyn Novek in New York contributed to the story. To learn more about Hollywood strikes, visit https://apnews.com/hub/hollywood-strikes/