The problems in Hollywood continue as SAG-AFTRA members, have voted 97.91% in favour of a strike authorization ahead of negotiations of the TV/Theatrical Contracts, with nearly 65,000 members casting ballots for a voting percentage of 47.69% of eligible voters.
The strike authorization does not mean the union is calling a strike. SAG-AFTRA begins negotiations on June 7th with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which includes major studios such as Disney. The affirmative vote on the authorization empowers the union’s National Board to initiate a strike if the AMPTP doesn’t reach a fair deal with the union. The current SAG-AFTRA TV/Theatrical Contracts expire at midnight on June 30th, 2023.
Following the SAG-AFTRA vote, the AMPTP (the Hollywood Studios) said this evening in a statement that :
“We are approaching these negotiations with the goal of achieving a new agreement that is beneficial to SAG-AFTRA members and the industry overall.”
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher said in a statement:
“The strike authorization votes have been tabulated and the membership joined their elected leadership and negotiating committee in favor of strength and solidarity. I’m proud of all of you who voted as well as those who were vocally supportive, even if unable to vote. Everyone played a part in this achievement. Together we lock elbows and in unity we build a new contract that honors our contributions in this remarkable industry, reflects the new digital and streaming business model and brings ALL our concerns for protections and benefits into the now! Bravo SAG-AFTRA, we are in it to win it.”
SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said in a statement:
“I could not be more pleased with this response from the membership. This overwhelming yes vote is a clear statement that it’s time for an evolution in this contract. As we enter what may be one of the most consequential negotiations in the union’s history, inflation, dwindling residuals due to streaming, and generative AI all threaten actors’ ability to earn a livelihood if our contracts are not adapted to reflect the new realities. This strike authorization means we enter our negotiations from a position of strength, so that we can deliver the deal our members want and deserve”.
Should the actors go on strike, this will no doubt have a bigger impact on Hollywood’s production problems, which are already suffering following the writer’s strike. This past week, the Directors Guild of America announced an agreement with the studios, so an actor’s strike may not happen.
Whichever way the actors go, will also have an impact on the writer’s strike, since should SAG make a deal, it puts more pressure on the writer’s union, while should SAG go on strike, it makes the case much stronger for the writers. But ultimately, SAG is there to represent in’s members, to make sure they get a better deal than they currently have in place, especially with regards to how they get paid for their work available on streaming services like Disney+ and Hulu.