The Future. Today, actors are joining writers on the picket line after talks with the studios on a new working contract fell apart. The last time SAG and WGA were on strike simultaneously was back in 1960, which resulted in the unions getting pension and health benefits for the first time — so yeah, there’s major power in a double strike. The gains made this time may radically transform Hollywood for its creative class… especially if studios’ next quarterly earnings reports are bad enough to send Wall Street into a panic.
Actors are ready to put on the performance of a lifetime.
- At the recommendation of SAG’s negotiating committee, led by union president Fran Drescher, SAG’s board unanimously voted to call a strike.
- The strike not only bars actors from performing in filmed productions worldwide, but it also forbids them to “attend premieres, do interviews for completed work, go to awards shows, attend film festivals, or even promote projects on social media” or at conventions.
- Compensation, exclusivity, taped auditions, and AI were key sticking points for the union, which felt the AMPTP’s proposals were… uhhh… pretty out there.
While SAG has typically avoided whipping up its roughly 160,000 members for a strike in fear of alienating its 1% (the Meryl Streeps of the world), an open letter signed by some of the A-list (including Meryl Streep herself), may have given the negotiating committee extra confidence to pull the trigger.
Case in point: when the strike was called, the cast of Oppenheimer walked out of the film’s London premiere. They must’ve all been spooked by the “Joan Is Awful” episode of Black Mirror — everyone, top to bottom, knows the stakes are high.