For the first time in 63 years, the Actors' Guild has joined the screenwriters' strike: what they demand and how it has already affected the film industry
The Screen Actors Guild of America (SAG-AFTRA), which has 160,000 members, has joined the screenwriters' strike that has been going on for over two months. For the first time in 63 years, they are boycotting the film industry together.
For a month, the actors have been negotiating with film companies to raise their salaries and guarantee that they will not be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI). This is stated on the official website of SAG-AFTRA (to see the photo, scroll to the bottom of the page).
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), an organisation representing major studios and streamers such as Amazon, Apple, Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount, Sony, and Warner Bros Discovery, failed to reach an agreement with the Guild, so the actors went on strike.
They demanded decent fees and guarantees that their creative profession would not be replaced by AI, but the studios' response was allegedly "inadequate". The strike began the day before and has already affected the film industry. For instance, on 13 July, film stars Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt left the London premiere of The Openman to join their colleagues, which was a very telling case.
AMPTP representatives said that the actors had rejected "historic" pay rises, increased pension contributions and innovative proposals to protect digital images. The Alliance stressed that it was the actors who refused to negotiate further.
SAG-AFTRA has recommended that members refrain from tours, personal appearances, premieres, interviews, filming, festivals, social media, meetings with fans and participation in shows. Thus, the public activities of stars, including world-famous actors, will be effectively halted.
The Guild strike may cause delays in many films and TV series currently in production. This is a huge loss for both companies and actors, so the decision to strike is rarely made.
Screenwriters, actors and companies will have to come to an agreement, but based on the strike of the former, we can assume that AMPTP will wait for concessions from the stars, and they, in turn, will delay the decision so that fans put pressure on the media giants.
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