Published On: Thu, Nov 9th, 2023

US actors union agrees deal to end longest strike in Hollywood history | Ents & Arts News

US actors union Sag-Aftra has agreed a “tentative deal” with Hollywood studio bosses to end an historic 118-day strike.

The union said the longest walkout in its history will end at 12.01am US Pacific time on Thursday following a “unanimous vote”.

The union, which represents around 160,000 members of the industry, has been on strike since 14 July causing major disruption to Hollywood productions.

The deal comes after the union’s negotiating committee spent days deliberating over several items it deemed “essential”, including artificial intelligence.

It followed a “last, best and final” offer from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) – the group representing studios, streaming services and producers in negotiations.

The tentative deal will go to the Sag-Aftra national board on Friday “for review and consideration”, the union announced.

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However, a statement from the union said it has achieved a deal of “extraordinary scope” in a contract “valued at over one billion dollars”, including protection from the threat of artificial intelligence and “unprecedented provisions for consent and compensation”.

It continued: “We have arrived at a contract that will enable Sag-Aftra members from every category to build sustainable careers, many thousands of performers now and into the future will benefit from this work.”

Meanwhile, the AMPTP said the tentative agreement “represents a new paradigm”.

It said: “It gives Sag-Aftra the biggest contract-on-contract gains in the history of the union, including the largest increase in minimum wages in the last 40 years; a brand new residual for streaming programmes; extensive consent and compensation protections in the use of artificial intelligence; and sizeable contract increases on items across the board.”

Appearing on the red carpet at the premiere of The Iron Claw, US actor Zac Efron said he was “so stoked” to go back to work.

“This is great news. I’m so happy that we’re all able to come to an agreement, let’s get back to work, he said.

US actor Alec Baldwin led a host of famous faces celebrating the news on social media.

He captioned a celebratory Instagram video: “Congratulations to each and every person, on both sides, who are responsible for this great occasion.”

Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer wrote in a post: “Who else is dancing right now? Ready to work now that the strike is over!”

This Is Us star Mandy Moore said on her Instagram story: “Let’s get back to work, friends!

“Thank you Sag-Aftra negotiators and leadership for getting us over the finish line!!! Gratitude is the attitude!!

“And grateful to all those who walked the walked (picketers, strike captains, our fellow union brothers and sisters etc),” she added.

Oscar-winner Jamie Lee Curtis, wrote in an Instagram post: “Perseverance pays off!” following news that a deal had been made.

Los Angeles Mayor, Karen Bass, shared an official statement describing her gratitude that a “fair agreement” had been reached.

“Those on the line have been the hardest hit during this period and there have been ripple effects throughout our entire city,” she said in a post on Instagram.

“Today’s tentative agreement is going to impact nearly every part of our economy. Now, we must lean in on local production to ensure that our entertainment industry rebounds stronger than ever and our economy is able to get back on its feet.”

Read more:
From Brad Pitt to Jane Fonda: Hollywood stars supporting the actors’ strike
Brian Cox and Simon Pegg among British stars in support of Hollywood strike

It comes weeks after the union confirmed industry chief executives had “walked away from the bargaining table” after refusing to counter its latest offer, sparking “profound disappointment”.

Hollywood has been at a near-standstill for months following both the actors and writers strikes.

In September the Writers Guild of America (WGA), which represents more than 11,000 members, agreed to a deal with studio bosses after 146 days on the picket line over issues of pay and the threat of artificial intelligence.

Throughout the strikes, Hollywood stars, including US director Olivia Wilde, and Ted Lasso star Jason Sudeikis have been keen to show their solidarity on the picket line.

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