Hollywood faces possible second strike as actors’ talks near deadline

hollywood-faces-possible-second-strike-as-actors’-talks-near-deadline
Hollywood faces possible second strike as actors’ talks near deadline

Netflix, Walt Disney, and other major film and television studios in Hollywood were in a race against time to reach a deal with the SAG-AFTRA actors union before the midnight deadline on Friday. The goal was to avoid a second labor strike this summer.

In a letter to union leadership, A-list stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep expressed their readiness to walk off the job if negotiators failed to reach a “transformative deal” regarding higher base pay and safeguards around the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

The union negotiators’ video, stating that their talks had been “extremely productive,” hinted at the possibility of a deal being within reach.

A strike by SAG-AFTRA, representing 160,000 actors, would further intensify the challenges faced by Hollywood studios, who are already dealing with a nearly two-month work stoppage by the Writers Guild of America (WGA). The writers’ strike has halted a significant portion of TV production and caused delays in the filming of movies like Marvel’s “Thunderbolts” and “Blade.” If actors also go on strike, any ongoing filming would have to come to a halt.

Leaders of SAG-AFTRA and the WGA argue that the entertainment industry has undergone significant changes with the rise of streaming television and the emergence of new technologies like generative AI. They fear that these technologies could be used to write scripts or create digital actors.

Some actors have publicly expressed their support for a strike. Phoebe Waller-Bridge, star of the new “Indiana Jones” movie, mentioned that she was already on strike as a member of the WGA and hoped that SAG would follow suit.

SAG-AFTRA has already authorized its leaders to call for a work stoppage if talks break down before the contract expires on Friday night.

Filmmaker and actor Judd Apatow believes that actors going on strike is necessary to resolve these issues, as they affect everyone.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which negotiates on behalf of the studios, has not commented on the ongoing talks with SAG-AFTRA.

Regarding the writers, the AMPTP stated that it had offered “generous” pay increases but could not agree to all of the writers’ demands. Talks between the studios and the WGA have not taken place since the writers’ strike began on May 2.

The writers’ strike is impacting caterers, prop suppliers, and other small businesses that heavily rely on income from Hollywood productions. The previous writers’ strike in 2007 and 2008 cost the California economy an estimated $2.1 billion.

The article was reported by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles, with additional reporting by Hanna Rantala and Sarah Mills in London. It was edited by Mary Milliken and Rosalba O’Brien. The article adheres to The Thomson RushHourDaily Trust Principles.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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