Actors Authorize Potential Strike With Hollywood Writers Still Picketing

Labor unions representing more than 160,000 film and television actors voted to approve the strike Monday night, two days before starting negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement with Hollywood studios. With 98% of SAG-AFTRA members approving the strike, the result was expected, it was the sixth week of strikes by Hollywood writers and just one day after the Directors Guild of America tentatively agreed to a new deal. brought later. .

“Together, we will work together to honor our contributions in this remarkable industry, reflect new digital and streaming business models, and reflect all our concerns for protection and profit now.” We are building a new contract,” Actors Guild president Fran Drescher said in a statement.

About 65,000 members, or 48% of eligible voters, voted. The actors’ current contracts with the Motion Picture and Television Producers Alliance, which is negotiating on behalf of the studio, expire on June 30.

Many of the actors’ concerns resonate with what the Writers Guild of America wants: higher wages. Increased residual payments for work, especially content on streaming services. Protection against unauthorized use of actor likenesses as part of the augmented capabilities of artificial intelligence. Writers said the studio only offered “annual conferences” on artificial intelligence and refused to negotiate over the limits of the technology.

In contrast, the Oversight Union announced on Sunday that it had reached a “groundbreaking agreement confirming that AI is not human and that generative AI cannot replace the duties of its members.” No details were given as to what that means.

The last time actors went on strike was in 2000, when they were fighting over commercial fees. The strike lasted nearly six months.

Negotiations are due to start on Wednesday and SAG-AFTRA is bullish on what this strike permit means. The union’s chief negotiator, Duncan Crabtree Ireland, said: “We are clearly coming in from a strong position, but we are not going to strike.” “We’re here to make a deal,” he added, “but we’re also not going to accept anything other than what membership deserves. If a strike is necessary to achieve that, we are ready.”

“We are engaging in these negotiations with the goal of reaching a new agreement that will benefit SAG-AFTRA members and the industry as a whole,” the Federation of Motion Picture and Television Producers said in a statement.

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