In the midst of a strike from the WGA, the Screen Actors Guild is finding itself in the middle of a pending strike if negotiations falter.
It has not been made official, but just over a month after the Writers Guild of America declared a strike in Hollywood, the Screen Actors Guild union has voted to authorize a strike if their own negotiations with the studios and streamers fall through. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “nearly 98 percent of members of performers’ union SAG-AFTRA voted to authorize a strike in a referendum that lasted a little over two weeks and concluded Monday evening.” The union’s president is none other than Fran Drescher, known for her hit 90s sitcom, The Nanny.
Drescher would explain 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.”
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers would respond with their own statement, “We are approaching these negotiations with the goal of achieving a new agreement that is beneficial to SAG-AFTRA members and the industry overall.”
This vote does not put the strike into effect, but it does give the negotiating representatives the greenlight to call for a work stoppage for union actors once their movie and TV contracts expire at the end of the month. The percentage that voted “yes” almost matches the same percentage that voted to authorize the strike from the Writers Guild back in April with 97 percent. The writers’ strike would eventually go into effect in the last month. Since then, there have been debates about the state of the industry as AI is becoming more refined and many fear studios may stoop to using algorithms to produce new content.
However, a solidarity between both the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild may shake the studio systems into agreeing to their demands. In addition to the many stories of tax write-offs, such as Warners pulling Batgirl and Disney pulling dozens of titles from streaming to write off $1.5 billion in content, as well as the number of studio employees being laid off as of late, the rest of the summer, if not the year, will be a bumpy road in the world of entertainment.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/sag-aftra-votes-authorize-strike/