Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said the actors’ strike had “urgent” financial implications for the city and needed to be resolved quickly.
As actors hit picket lines across the country on Friday, Bass urged SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood studios to return to the negotiating table.
“With over one hundred thousand workers now participating in an unprecedented strike, it is clear that the entertainment industry is at a historic inflection point,” Bass said in a statement. “It affects us all and is essential to our overall economy.”
The mayor added that she plans to take action to help resolve the dispute between the actors union and the Alliance of Film and Television Producers (AMPTP) – which represents studios and streamers including Amazon, Apple , Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros. Discovery.
“I call on all parties to come to the table and work around the clock until a fair deal is reached. This is an urgent issue that needs to be resolved and I will work to make it happen” , continues the press release.
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SAG-AFTRA’s three-year film and television contract expired on June 30. Negotiations were later extended until 11:59 p.m. PT on July 12, but ultimately broke down.
The actors began marching picket lines in Los Angeles, New York and other cities on Friday, July 14.
Among the issues on the table are profit sharing, or residuals, when streaming platforms replay TV shows and movies, as well as new rules to protect against artificial intelligence using the likeness of an actor and replacing his job.
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher slammed “greedy” studio executives in a fiery speech on Thursday.
“We are the victims here. We are victims of a very greedy entity,” she said.
“The template is up AMPTP, we’re standing tall,” Drescher added. “And we demand respect and to be honored for our contribution. You share the wealth because you cannot exist without us.
— Elena Sanchez (@TheElenaSanchez) July 13, 2023
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On the Friday picket line in front of Warner Bros. in Burbank, actors on strike sung“The template is in place! The template is in place!”
The AMPTP said it offered a “historic” contract, which was rejected by the union.
“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 Breakthrough AI that protects actors’ digital likenesses for SAG-AFTRA members,” the group said after SAG-AFTRA called a strike.
In its strike order, the union said actors must immediately stop performing, auditioning, attending film premieres, participating in press junkets, going to film festivals and promote their projects for awards.
Companies across the country that provide catering, clothing, props, security services and transportation for movies, TV shoots, film festivals and award shows are suffering financial losses.
SAG-AFTRA has 160,000 members. Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, national executive director and chief union negotiator, said SAG-AFTRA members who are broadcast journalists, work in interactive entertainment, audiobooks, music, commercials and other domains “will not be directly affected” because they have separate contracts.
Actors and writers are on strike.
The Writers Guild of America strike began on May 2. It is the industry’s first double work stoppage since 1960.
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