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Hollywood Actors Finally Reach Deal with Major Studios, Ending Strike

Late night reports revealed that the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) had reached a deal with Hollywood studios that would come into effect at midnight on Thursday, November 9, 2023. If confirmed, the agreement would put an end to a strike that had dragged on for nearly four months.

On July 13, 2023, the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee voted unanimously to recommend a strike to the union’s national board. The strike officially commenced on July 14. The seeds of the labour dispute had been sowed in large part by major changes that have occurred in the entertainment space. Chief among them is the rise of streaming services, which have dramatically changed the kind of residuals that actors can expect compared to the long-standing cable television era.

Some of the other sticking points in the dispute involved the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) to aid in the creative process. This was also a major point of contention during the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike that ran for 148 days.

The new three-year contract negotiated by both parties will need to be approved by member and union board votes in the coming days. According to reports, the new agreement includes increases in minimum salaries and a new “streaming participation” bonus. Moreover, the deal will reportedly provide protections against unauthorized use of images generated by AI.

If approved, Hollywood studios will be pleased to restart filming schedules and rush to deliver a fresh slate of new content after several months of relative inaction due to the writer and actor strikes.