Actors are beginning contract negotiations with Hollywood studios and may go on strike if a new contract is not negotiated by the end of the month. This could have devastating consequences for an industry already affected by the writers strike. SAG-AFTRA, the guild representing 160,000 actors and performers, announced that nearly 98% of its members voted in favor of a strike. Actors have not gone on strike in over 40 years, but watching writers take on important issues has galvanized the group. If actors go on strike, they could completely shut down production and cost studios a lot of money.
In accordance with the latest findings of Vanity Fair, Hollywood’s biggest studios are facing a potential devastating outcome as actors begin contract negotiations, which could result in a work stoppage. The industry is already reeling from the writers strike that has caused massive disarray in just 38 days. Filming in Los Angeles and New York has plummeted, and production on multiple projects has been shut down by early rising picketers, including Showtime’s Billions and Apple TV+’s Loot.
“If your movie or TV show is still shooting and we haven’t shut it down yet, sit tight,” warns Eric Haywood, a writer on Manifest and Law & Order: Organized Crime. “We’ll get around to you.” This is the most disruptive event in Hollywood’s 100-year-old pipelines, except maybe the last writers strike 15 years ago and the pandemic. If actors join the writers with a work stoppage of their own, they could completely shut down production.
On Monday evening, SAG-AFTRA, the guild representing 160,000 actors and other performers, announced that nearly 98% of its members had voted in favor of authorizing a strike if they are not able to negotiate a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers by the end of the month. Actors haven’t gone on strike in more than 40 years, but watching writers take on important issues like the rise of streaming and the looming threat of artificial intelligence has clearly galvanized the group.
“I go out to the picket lines as often as I can,” says SAG-AFTRA member Mehdi Barakchian. “I think it’s important for all members of any union to show up in support because this is a fundamental shift right now. What happens in these next few months is going to affect the entire industry in perpetuity.”
Arrow co-creator Marc Guggenheim calls a possible actors strike “incredibly important because without actors, you definitely have no production. And once you shut down production all across the board, it really does change the game. It’s a lot of money to be hemorrhaging on a daily basis for the studios.”
The arrival of another influential union into Hollywood’s labor dispute, particularly after the Directors Guild of America backed away from the fight over the weekend by tentatively agreeing to a new three-year contract with the studios, has writers cheering. Anything could happen, and the outcome of these negotiations will have a significant impact on the entertainment industry.