According to an inside source at Variety, the SAG-AFTRA union has reached a tentative agreement with AMPTP executes which is set to end the historic actors strike.
The 118-day-long work stoppage is poised to come to an official close at 12:01 am on Thursday, November 9, with the union’s negotiation committee unanimously voting to approve the latest deal.
Still Needing Approval
The strike’s major sticking points included fairer pay and benefits for on-screen performers, as well as protections against artificial intelligence scans which would see many actors losing their jobs as studios utilize their likeness for no pay.
Though the SAG-AFTRA national board still need to approve the deal this weekend, the gears are in motion for the historic actors strike to officially come to a close, meaning major studio productions can finally begin shooting again for the first time since May.
First Protections For AI
This labor movement has been one of the most impactful in Hollywood’s history as the WGA and SAG-AFTRA unions each shut down productions to picket for fair treatment and better wages in tandem with one another.
The WGA strike came to a close with a unanimously accepted deal back in September, while the actors union waged forward until the tentative deal was reached today.
The new deal will see the first-ever protections against AI for on-screen performers, as the newfound technology threatens to steamroll many in the creative industry out of a job.
Pay Increase And Back To Work
The actors strike has also resulted in a 7 percent pay increase for performers, a rate even greater than the one offered to writers and directors in recent months.
While union heads have made it clear that the new deal is far from perfect, the actors seem to have found success on all major fronts, making the strike a massive success.
Despite the long-running strikes impacting everything from production schedules to years-long release calendars, many corporate Hollywood executives, including Disney CEO Bob Iger, have remained steadfast in their claim that they wouldn’t cave to the demands of their constituents.
Of course, organizations such as the strike fund have made the work stoppage more tolerable for out-of-work picketers while studios have seen devastating financial fall-outs, resulting in corporate heads eventually caving to the demands of the talented public.
As actors and writers alike prepare to finally return to their work, it bears repeating that unions and strikes are a key component in labor movements that benefit everyone.
Studios Needed A Deal
This news is surprising, of course, as the AMPTP’s last attempt at a so-called “last, best, and final” offer outlined bonuses for actors on the most-streamed television series.
That gave union heads nothing in the way of artificial intelligence protections, resulting in many headlines that suggested the strike was nowhere near over.
Clearly, the studios weren’t willing to continue hemorrhaging money at the hands of the solidarity-driven performers, causing executives to tuck tail and deliver a more comprehensive offer.
Fran Drescher Leads The Union
With the news of the actors strike concluding, it seems that there may be enough material in production to salvage what remains of the barren 2024 and 2025 release schedules for major studios.
This would result in a win for both creators and fans of high-quality television and film entertainment.
SAG-AFTRA has been helmed through this historic event by union president and The Nanny star Fran Drescher, while the final six weeks of negotiations have been quarterbacked by four entertainment CEOs representing the AMPTP.