Hollywood: actors end strike, agreement signed

An agreement was finally reached between the actors and the major Hollywood studios. There strike Who paralyzed the production of films and series in the United States for many months will end on Thursday, thanks to the obtaining of a new three-year collective agreement for the actors, the value of which is “estimated at more than a billion dollars”, explained Wednesday the actors union SAG-AFTRA in a communicated.

Dear #SagAftraMembers:

We are thrilled & proud to tell you that today your TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee voted unanimously to approve an attempted agreement with the AMPTP. As of 12:01 am PT on Nov. 9, our strike is officially suspended & all picket locations are closed. pic.twitter.com/FhvSRJQXFE

— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) November 9, 2023

An “agreement in principle” was reached after 118 days of strike by actors, who demanded better remuneration in an industry disrupted by the advent of streaming and safeguards in terms of artificial intelligence. The exact content of the agreement has not yet been revealed, but “further information will be communicated” on Friday, the union said.

Players in financial difficulty

According to the specialized press, the two parties have found a compromise on the minimum wage, which should increase by around 8% compared to the previous agreement. This is the largest increase in decades, even if it remains below the initial demands of the actors. On the streaming side, a bonus system for actors playing in successful series or films will be put in place.

So that big stars and extras return to the set and allow the resumption of filming, the 160,000 actors, dancers and other stunt members of SAG-AFTRA must still approve their new collective agreement by vote. A step widely seen as a formality.

Negotiations with employers have taken place almost daily over the past two weeks, often with the CEOs of Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros, and Universal in person around the table. Because the need to put an end to this social movement was becoming more and more pressing.

Besides a minority of big celebrities, most actors without filming found it increasingly difficult to make ends meet – some fell back on other jobs. The studios accused gaping holes in their release schedules for next year and beyond. After the postponement of major productions, such as the second part of the “Dune” saga Or the series “Stranger Things”the studios will now want to get back to work as quickly as possible.

A paralysis of the sector which cost billions of dollars

The sector has just gone through a double historic social movement: when the actors went on strike in mid-July, the writers had already stopped work since the beginning of May. Hollywood has not experienced such a crisis since 1960, when Ronald Reagan headed the actors’ union – before becoming president of the United States.

In total, the paralysis of the sector in recent months has cost at least $6 billion, according to recent estimates by economists. Actors and screenwriters shared one observation: apart from star actors and star “showrunners”, most of them were no longer able to earn a decent living in the era of streaming. The studios ended up finding an agreement with the writers at the end of September and most of them have since returned to work.

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