According to SAG-AFTRA, a strike will be imminent, as a deal has failed to be reached between the union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The vote to proceed with a strike was unanimous, as weeks of negotiation had led to no beneficial result for either party. SAG-AFTRA will hold a press conference today at noon P.T. to make the strike official.
During the strike, SAG members will no longer participate in producing any film or television series. They will also be barred from participating in promotional material, such as press junkets and attending film premieres. Multiple high-profile productions, such as “Gladiator 2” and “Mortal Kombat 2,” have prepared to shut down production at the moment the strike is announced. This will be the first time in 63 years that both WGA and SAG have been on strike concurrently.
It’s such a shame it’s come to this point (yet again) for another essential group in this industry. Studios prioritize people in suits who contribute very little compared to the actors who show up to the set daily to bring these projects to life. The simple concept that individuals should be compensated fairly for their work is not considered “realistic” to higher-ups in Hollywood. What the actors should earn (and, of course, the writers are still on strike) is what’s fair and, most importantly, owed. Without these workers, the industry has nothing. They are just selling an empty product. These people in front and behind the camera are the soul of the industry who audiences connect with the most through the stories they tell. They make art that captivates, inspires, and moves people all around the world. This will backfire for studios, who will hopefully eventually realize that they will only be hemorrhaging money when they have nothing new to offer consumers.
It’s just a question now of how long they can hold out. But there are many other questions which need to be asked: How will this impact the upcoming fall film festivals? We know actors won’t be present at festivals such as Venice and Telluride but will studios pull film titles out knowing they can’t have the stars in-person to promote them? Will the Emmy Awards, slated for September 18th, get delayed? If the SAG strike reaches a fair deal, what will it mean for the WGA, who are fighting their own battle with another strike? As the threat of A.I. grows, and the industry learns how to navigate a world in which video has mainly been replaced with streaming, how will these negotiations impact the rest of the industry? With so many people’s livelihoods on the line, all we can hope for is a timely and fair resolution. Please let us know in the comments section below or our Twitter account.