- READ MORE: Why are actors striking in Hollywood?
The national board of SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild–American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) – Hollywood’s largest union, which represents 160,000 actors and performers – voted unanimously today to strike, according to The Los Angeles Times.
SAG-AFTRA was seeking better pay and working conditions in the age of streaming, while other negotiations related to safeguards against the unregulated use of artificial intelligence in the industry.
Following a breakdown in negotiations between the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), SAG-AFTRA members were told to be prepared to strike as they awaited the outcome of today’s vote.
The Hollywood shutdown is first time in 63 years that actors and writers have gone on strike simultaneously. Actors will reportedly be on the picket line from Friday (July 14).
“What’s happening to us is happening across all fields of labor,” said SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher. “When employers make Wall Street and greed their priority and they forget about the essential contributors who make the machine run, we have a problem.”
The AMPTP said in a statement that “a strike is certainly not the outcome we hoped for as studios cannot operate without the performers that bring our TV shows and films to life”.
“The Union has regrettably chosen a path that will lead to financial hardship for countless thousands of people who depend on the industry,” it added.
The separate WGA (Writers Guild Of America) strike, which began on May 2, occurred following unsuccessful negotiations with AMPTP, who represent major Hollywood studios like Netflix, Disney, Apple, Amazon, Paramount, Warner Bros. and others.