Hollywood actors strike to end after union reaches tentative deal with studios

Hollywood’s actors union has reached a preliminary agreement with studios, marking the end of a prolonged strike that disrupted the entertainment industry for months. The three-year contract, subject to approval by the union’s board and members in the coming days, is set to conclude the strike at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday. Over 60,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Performers participated in the strike, which commenced on July 14, joining the earlier walkout by screenwriters. This marked the first simultaneous strike by the two unions since 1960. While details of the agreement were not immediately disclosed, they are expected to be made public in the coming days.

Key issues under negotiation included short-term compensation, future royalty payments for film and TV performances, and control over actors’ images and likenesses generated with artificial intelligence. Executives from major entertainment companies such as Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Universal played a direct role in the negotiations, led by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

The strike’s impact on viewers was less immediately visible than the writers’ strike, which resulted in the suspension of late-night talk shows and “Saturday Night Live.” However, the ripple effects, such as delayed release dates and the wait for new show seasons, could be felt for months or even years.

With the end of the strike, actors can resume work on paused productions like “Deadpool 3,” “Gladiator 2,” and “Wicked.” The resumption of scripted productions allows actors to return to red carpets, talk shows, and podcasts as Hollywood’s awards season approaches.

While the strike delayed the Emmys, moving it from September to January, the usual fall Oscar campaigns are expected to resume. However, the industry’s return to normalcy may be short-lived, given ongoing shifts toward streaming and emerging technologies like AI.

Union leaders view the strike as a significant moment, part of broader labor disputes across industries. SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher emphasized concerns about how big business culture prioritizes profit over the well-being of individuals. The agreement, if ratified, also signifies a return to work for film crew members who faced joblessness during the strikes. SAG-AFTRA aimed to mitigate their challenges through interim agreements for smaller productions and by making the strike relief fund accessible to all industry workers.

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