Giant waiting periods for Hollywood series and films may be upon us.
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA), which represents around 160,000 Hollywood actors, said on Thursday that the recent negotiations with production houses had reached a deadlock.
The union tried to conclude an agreement, which could avoid future actor strikes, with the production houses, but no settlement could be reached.
The agreement deals, among other things, with determining a policy that will protect actors against the use of artificial intelligence (AI), as well as the dwindling compensation they receive. The union’s mediation team recommended after the failed negotiations that a strike might push the issue to a head.
The union represents heavyweights such as Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence and Glenn Close. Members have also already agreed to go on strike should an agreement not be reached.
This will not only be the first actors’ strike in more than four decades, but also the first time since the 1960s that actors and writers have gone on strike at the same time. An actors’ strike can also lead to huge waiting periods for Hollywood series and films, and all marketing campaigns and parties being suspended.
This in turn means that all film and series production in Hollywood can be forced to a halt.
“We are extremely disappointed that SAG-AFTRA has decided to walk away from the negotiations. This is the trade union’s choice, not ours,” the alliance for film and television producers said in a recent statement.
The strike will put a damper on any plans of actors to attend premieres and parties of their new films. There are even concerns that the Emmy Awards, which take place in September this year, may have to be moved to November or even next year.
“We hope that the negotiations will be concluded soon,” said Frank Scherma, chairman of the Television Academy, when announcing this year’s Emmy nominations.
Payment and AI
The Hollywood Writers Guild has been on strike for nearly three months due to dissatisfaction over salaries.
Actors and writers not only receive an initial salary, but also additional compensation when films and series are streamed or watched again. The actors rely on this long-term compensation when they are not working on new productions.
Actors are also wary of the effects of artificial intelligence and want a policy determined to protect them against it. However, production houses have not yet agreed to it.