For the last 118 days, members of the SAG-AFTRA union have been on strike, fighting for proper compensation and protections in the ever-evolving entertainment business. The stretch of time saw a great deal of conflict unfold regarding key issues in the movie and television industries, with artificial intelligence being a big topic of debate. Finally, however, the labor battle has come to an end, as a deal has been reached.
Variety is reporting that SAG-AFTRA negotiators have reached agreeable terms with the AMPTP, and the strike will be coming to an end at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday. A unanimous vote was reached among the negotiating committee for the actors secured the agreement, and the next step will be getting approval from the SAG-AFTRA national board. After that, members of the union will vote to ratify or reject the deal.
This news is coming just a little over a month after the conclusion of the WGA strike, which played out from May 2 to September 27, 2023 – a total of 148 days. While not lasting as long, the SAG-AFTRA strike this year was the longest ever of its kind, with the previous record holder being the actors strike in 1980 (which lasted 95 days).
Talks between the two sides stalled in mid-October, earning outrage from SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher, but negotiation resumed earlier this month. Details of the deal have not yet been revealed, but the trade report says that there is a “historic pay increase” included and “first-ever protections for actors against artificial intelligence.” The latter was a major sticking point in the AMPTP “last and best offer” that was put forward this past Friday, but language was modified during a meeting on Monday night.
This is obviously huge news for the film and television industries, which have been stalled for a large fraction of the year. Production will ramp up again, allowing thousands to get back to work around the world. We’ll be hearing big casting news again as projects move through development, and performers will be able to start promoting their new movies and shows. Studios won’t have to delay any more upcoming movies due to concerns about promotion, and awards season will be able to play out as normal.
Full details about the new SAG-AFTRA contract, which The Hollywood Reporter says is a three-year deal, are expected in the coming days. Once everything is settled, it hopefully won’t be too much longer until the industry is back to functioning normally (albeit now with better working conditions).
Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for updates regarding how this news will impact individual projects – particularly those that were in the midst of filming when the strikes forced work to stop. You can learn about all of the features heading to the big screen and streaming in the coming months with our Upcoming 2023 Movies guide and our 2024 Movie Release Calendar, and keep track of everything that’s still coming to the small screen with our 2023 Fall TV Schedule.