Hollywood Actors Union Orders Strike, Blows Up Studios: ‘You’re Crazy’

Hollywood Actors Union Orders Strike, Blows Up Studios: ‘You’re Crazy’

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SAG-AFTRA, the union representing Hollywood actors, said Thursday afternoon that its national board voted unanimously to order a strike after contract talks with studios and streamers broke down. The strike goes into effect at midnight.

The announcement was made at a press conference broadcast live from Los Angeles on YouTube, after the union’s national board of directors decided to start the work stoppage because the two sides could not s to hear about residuals when streaming platforms rebroadcast TV shows and movies, or new rules to protect against artificial intelligence using an actor’s likeness and replacing their work.

“I can’t believe it, quite frankly, how far apart we are on so many things, how they’re pleading poverty, losing money left and right, giving away hundreds of millions of dollars to their CEOs. It’s disgusting. Shame on them,” SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher said, as her voice cracked and she tried to control her anger.

“We are the victims here. We are the victims of a very greedy entity,” Drescher added, lambasting the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents studios and streamers.

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Drescher, who achieved national fame on The nanny, added: “We are not going to put up with this anymore. You are crazy. What are you doing? Why do you do that?”

She said streaming has completely changed the industry and many players are struggling financially.

It should also be noted that since the onset of the pandemic, actors are expected to record auditions themselves, using their own recording equipment, backgrounds, and lights, thus incurring the financial burden of finding auditions. ‘a job.

“What is happening right now with this business model that has been imposed on us? What do you do when you move furniture on the Titanic? It’s crazy. So the template is up AMPTP, we stand tall,” she said. “And we demand respect and to be honored for our contribution. You share the wealth because you cannot exist without us.

The union’s three-year contract for film and television expired on June 30. The negotiations were later extended until 11:59 p.m. PT on July 12, 2023.

Following the union’s announcement of the strike, the AMPTP issued a statement saying, “The member companies of the AMPTP have entered into negotiations with SAG-AFTRA with the aim of forging a new mutually beneficial contract.”

“The AMPTP presented an agreement that offered historic salary and residual increases, significantly higher caps on pension and health contributions, hearing protections, shortened series option periods and a proposed Groundbreaking AI that protects actors’ digital likenesses for SAG-AFTRA members,” the statement continues. “A strike is certainly not the outcome we hoped for as the studios cannot function without the artists who bring our TV shows and films to life. The union has unfortunately chosen a path which will lead to financial hardship for countless thousands of people who depend on the industry.

SAG-AFTRA leaders represent 160,000 members.

The union sent the strike order to members on Thursday afternoon, saying they must immediately stop acting, singing, dancing, stunt work, voice acting, narration, standing work or work as extras. The members were also asked not to attend movie premieres, press conferences, or promote their projects to be considered for the Emmy Awards. Although they can still attend autograph signing events with fans.

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the union’s national executive director and chief negotiator, told the press conference that members who are broadcast journalists, work in interactive entertainment, audiobooks, music, commercials and d other domains “will not be directly affected” because they have separate relationships. contracts.

Last month, SAG-AFTRA said members had voted 97.91% to authorize a strike.

The actors will join the writers on the picket line in Los Angeles, New York and other cities.

The Writers Guild of America strike began on May 2.

The WGA released a statement on Thursday expressing its solidarity with the cast.

“We strongly support our union brothers and sisters at SAG-AFTRA as they begin their work stoppage,” the writers union said.

It is the industry’s first double work stoppage since 1960.

Businesses across the country that provide catering, clothing, props, security services and transportation for movies, TV shoots and award shows will also be impacted by the work stoppage.

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