Actors Strike Is Imminent, Is Hollywood Breaking Down?

By Britta DeVore | Updated

hollywood movies in 2022

Just a little over two months since the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) moved to the picket lines, Deadline reports that time is ticking for the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) contract with all signs pointing toward the actors going on strike. Late last night, it was reported that negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) were cut off with the guild planning to regroup Thursday morning to move forward with the actors strike.

Negotiations between the Actors Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers has broken down, and now it seems like an actors strike is inevitable.

The announcement will mark a monumental one for the industry as, not only does it coincide with the WGA movement, but it will also be the first time actors are leaving the sets to make their voices heard since 1980.

It’s also been several decades since the actors’ strike coincided with the writers’ strike, with the last double picketing happening back in 1960 when ex-Hollywood star turned U.S. President Ronald Reagan was the president of the Screen Actors Guild. History is a crazy thing! With picketing expected to begin on Friday, it seems that the entertainment biz is facing a major fallout over the next several months.

In a joint statement, members of SAG-AFTRA revealed that following over a month of back-and-forth conversations with AMPTP, a contract was never reached between the two groups meaning that the actors would be going on strike.

AMPTP covers a broad number of bigwig studios that include Amazon, Apple, Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros. Discovery.

Referring to the studios as “unwilling to offer a fair deal on the key issues that are essential to SAG-AFTRA members,” the statement concluded by calling for a move to the picket lines, a decision that will receive a vote today (Thursday).

Fran Drescher

Known best for her role on the hit series The Nanny, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher put out a separate statement about the impending actors’ strike, explaining that the group “negotiated in good faith and was eager to reach a deal that sufficiently addressed performer needs.”

Unfortunately, their demands fell on deaf ears with AMPTP refusing to bend or make any wiggle room whatsoever, something Drescher referred to as putting the group in a “completely stonewalled” position. With this in mind, she said that until the proper negotiations are made there will be no deal and the actors will be moving forward with the strike.

Countering SAG-AFTRA’s comments, AMPTP released its own statement following the failed conversations. Slamming the actor’s guild and saying they were “deeply disappointed” by the majority choice to “walk away from negotiations,” the studios placed all the blame for the strike on the Union, and stood by what they’re calling “historic pay and residual increases”.

Further calling SAG-AFTRA’s strike into question and painting themselves as the good guys, AMPTP said that the standoff would ultimately lead to “financial hardship” for many who work in the entertainment industry both as actors and the behind-the-scenes faces of the crew members pulling it all together. 

With the actors moving toward a strike and the writers still picketing the streets outside of studio lots, a long fight is ahead for the creatives to claim what is rightfully theirs and to be paid a living wage without worrying about things like AI stepping into take over their roles.

A troubling turn of events, the latest news in the strikes comes just one day after Hollywood studios shared their plans of letting writers “go broke” before they would consider resuming negotiations.