After a strike of a total of 118 days, Hollywood’s actors have finally decided to call it quits. This strike ended on Wednesday after the Screen Actors union (SAG-AFTRA) and Hollywood studios signed an agreement to protect the actors’ interests.
This agreement, which was concluded with Netflix and Disney among others, indicates that actors will be better compensated from now on and that protective measures against AI will be introduced.
Members of the SAF-AFTRA took to the streets of Hollywood in July this year to express their displeasure with dwindling pay and inadequate safeguards against artificial intelligence (AI).
This union represents around 160,000 artists.
“SAG-AFTRA’s television and theater committee approved a preliminary agreement earlier this afternoon, ending the 118-day strike,” said a spokesperson for SAG-AFTRA.
The agreement, which was concluded between the actors and studios, is worth around $1 billion (about R18 billion) and was drawn up with the aim of guaranteeing a “sustainable future” for SAG-AFTRA’s members.
The Association of Picture and Television Producers, which represents the studios, said they were “delighted” about the agreement. They also revealed that a string of new shows are waiting on streaming services, although they did not reveal any further details.
The agreement still needs to be approved by SAG-AFTRA’s board and members, a process that could take weeks. However, there is widespread expectation that the agreement will indeed be declared valid.
Actors and studio representatives have been meeting daily for the past two weeks to discuss the possible deal. These discussions even reached a deadlock once or so, which meant that representatives had to pick up the reins again and again to continue the meetings.
Fran Drescher, chairman of SAG-AFTRA, said in a recent social media post that she relies on her power as a woman when she enters the negotiations.
“I feel power, not anger. I feel optimistic, not negative. I don’t need to radiate a masculine energy to lead these negotiations,” she said.
“I can be exactly who I am. I can lead with intelligence, wisdom, empathy, human dignity and fairness. And I can still pull it off with red lipstick.”