The Hollywood’s actors strike seems likely to conclude imminently, though the specifications of the ‘tentative deal’ remain undisclosed.
After a prolonged and tense negotiation period, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has reached a historic agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), effectively ending the 118-day strike.
The actors’ union, represented by a committee from SAG, approved the agreement on Wednesday, with plans to officially end the strike on Thursday morning.
The details of the tentative agreement are still under wraps, but they are expected to go before the union’s national board for approval on Friday.
Hollywood has been ground zero for a rather unique strike that has kept its film industry in the spotlight despite work grinding to a halt.
The strike has notably featured pickets outside major studio offices such as Netflix, Disney, and Warner Bros, with several high-profile rows over issues surrounding AI’s role in actors’ performances and the pursuit of residual payments for streaming services.
With news of the forthcoming deal, actors flocked to their social media accounts to announce the strike’s success.
— Mark Hamill (@MarkHamill) November 9, 2023
The use of generative AI became a central contention, as studios had proposed their “final proposal” that SAG contested would still enable the digital recreation of performers using AI technology.
Following intense discussions and public outcry, adjustments to the language surrounding AI in the proposal appeared to satisfy some of the actors’ concerns. Again, the precise details of what those adjustments are remain unknown.
This earlier Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike highlighted the industry’s struggle to adapt to the modern era, where streaming dominates and AI threatens traditional filmmaking.
When the WGA was joined by SAG-AFTRA, the US film and TV industry seized up completely, leading to economic hardship among workers.
Now, with both strikes concluded, optimism surfaces in Hollywood. Productions stalled by the strike, including high-profile projects such as “Gladiator 2” and “Andor,” are set to resume. Shawn Levy, the director of the upcoming “Deadpool” movie, expressed his readiness to continue filming.
As for the broader implications of this agreement, many within the industry are expressing relief and hope, at least in the short term.
The breakthrough in the negotiations indicates that Hollywood can once again operate at maximum capacity. From rank-and-file to A-listers like George Clooney and Margot Robbie, actors have rallied for a fair deal, voicing solidarity against AI job replacements.
This settlement is thus not just a victory for the actors but a relief for the many other professions contributing to the filmmaking process.
It would perhaps be prudent to hold fire on celebrations until the final deal is ratified, but it looks like the show is about to go on.