We Demand Respect!' Hollywood Actors Union Joins Writers With Strike Against Studio Titans

"The eyes of the world and, particularly, the eyes of labWe Demand Respect!' Hollywood Actors Union Joins Writers With Strike Against Studio Titans or are upon us," said Fran Drescher, president of SAG-AFTRA.
By: Common Dreams
 
 
Strike {CCA} Damon D Amato
Strike {CCA} Damon D Amato
PORTLAND, Ore. - July 14, 2023 - PRLog -- By: JULIA CONLEY

Powerful Hollywood studios are now up against more than 170,000 workers following a vote to strike on Thursday by the union representing television and film actors, as writers in the entertainment industry are now more than 10 weeks into their own work stoppage.

The dual strike marks the first time in 62 years that both writers and performers in the industry walked off the job to protest what they say are unfair working conditions and compensation—effectively grinding business in Hollywood to a halt.

About 160,000 actors are represented by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), and the union shares many of the concerns that prompted the Writers Guild of America (WGA) to go on strike in May, including the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) in entertainment.

The actors' three-year contract expired on Wednesday at 11:59 pm, after an extension from June 30 as negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) continued.

Nearly 98% of voters in the actors union supported a strike authorization in a vote in June, and weeks later, more than 1,000 luminaries including Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, and John Leguizamo signed a letter saying they were "prepared to strike" to ensure that the vast majority of SAG-AFTRA members—who are not wealthy or famous and whose livelihoods depend on the union's demands being met—get the compensation and job security they need to continue working in the industry.

"We're looking to make sure that acting can be a sustainable career choice for people, not just the 100 most famous celebrities in the world, but for the whole large population of our membership," Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, national executive director and chief negotiator for SAG-AFTRA, toldThe New York Times. "They should be able to make a living and you now pay a mortgage or pay rent like everybody else."

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