SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers (AMPTP) have reached a unanimous agreement to end the strike that has hindered the entertainment industry and disrupted numerous major films and TV shows since mid-July.
Actors have been demanding better pay as well as safeguards on the use of artificial intelligence. Sag-Aftra president Fran Drescher who stood firm throughout the strike posted, “We did it!!!!” Thanking fellow members, “For hanging in and holding out for this historic deal!”
Other famous actors and actresses have also welcomed the deal that ended the strike including Zac Efron who described the news as, “Incredible” during the premiere of his newest film The Iron Claw. Jeremy Allen White, Efron’s co-star from the TV drama The Bear, also expressed his excitement with the strike’s end saying, “That’s fantastic!”
Sag-Aftra chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland told Reuters there were, “Definitely some tears, a lot of big smiles, a lot of hugs” after the agreement was reached. Adding that the three-year contract would, “Make a long-term difference for the future of our members in this industry.”
The union said that the deal, which is worth over $1 billion, includes higher minimum salaries, a new bonus for streaming participation, and stronger protections against their images and voices being replicated by AI. Shaan Sharma, another member of the committee, told the New York Times that he had mixed feelings because not all of the union’s demands were met.
“You can be happy for the deal overall, but you can feel a sense of loss for something that you didn’t get that you thought was important,” he said.
AMPTP said it was pleased to have reached the tentative agreement and, “Looks forward to the industry resuming the work of telling great stories”. Adding that the deal gave Sag-Aftra, “The biggest contract-on-contract gains in the history of the union”.
It is unclear when the video game strike will end. However, the fact that the actors’ strike in film and television has ended suggests that progress is being made in negotiations, and it is possible that a deal could be reached in the video game industry soon.