LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hollywood’s actors union reached a tentative agreement with studios Wednesday to end their strike, ending months of labor disputes that brought the entertainment industry to a historic standstill.
The three-year contract must be approved by votes by the union’s board and its members in the coming days, but leadership said the strike would end at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.
More than 60,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Performers – went on strike July 14, joining screenwriters who had left their jobs more than two months earlier. It was the first time since 1960 that the two unions went on strike together. The studios decided to negotiate with the writers first, reaching a deal that their leadership called a major victory and leading to the strike ending on September 26.
Details of the agreement were not immediately released but are expected to be shared with actors and the public in the coming days. Issues on the table included both short-term compensation and future royalties for film and television performances, as well as control over the images and likenesses of actors regenerated using artificial intelligence.
Executives from major entertainment companies including Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros. Discovery and Universal were directly involved in the negotiations, which, like all union talks in Hollywood, were led by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
Although the writers’ strike had an immediate, visible impact on viewers, including the months-long suspension of late-night talk shows and “Saturday Night Live,” the impact of the actors’ absence was not as immediately apparent. But the aftereffects — delayed release dates and waits for new seasons of shows — could be felt for months or even years.
Actors were able to quickly return to film sets where productions were paused, including “Deadpool 3,” “Gladiator 2” and “Wicked.” Filming for other films and series will resume once the returning writers complete their scripts.
And beyond scripted productions, the end of the strike would allow actors to return to red carpets, talk shows and podcasts as Hollywood’s awards season approaches.
The only major awards show directly affected by the strike was the Emmys, which was postponed from September to January. Now the usual fall Oscar campaigns are likely to mobilize.
But any sense of normality in the industry could prove temporary. The circumstances that led to the strikes – the shift from traditional cinema and broadcast media to streaming and new technologies such as AI – have not been slowed down. And the gains achieved by the strikes could encourage other Hollywood unions or the same guilds in negotiations that will resume in just a few years.
From the start, union leaders viewed the strike as a turning point because it came amid broader labor disputes in other industries.
“I think it’s a conversation now about the culture of big business and how it treats everyone up and down the corporate ladder in the name of profit,” SAG-AFTRA president and “The Nanny” star Fran Drescher told in August The Associated Press interview.
Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the executive director and chief negotiator who led the team that negotiated the deal for the guild, told the AP in August that he was honored to help ensure our members received a fair contract that gave them Protecting you is going into the future and making sure that the 14-year-olds I spoke to on the Disney picket line still have the ability to be actors when they’re 18.”
If the deal is approved, it will also mean thousands of film crew members who had nothing to work during the strikes can return to sets. SAG-AFTRA tried to offset their distress by facilitating sometimes controversial interim agreements for some smaller productions and making its strike relief fund available to all workers in the industry.
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