June 21, 2024

Hollywood may soon be back in business.

SAG-AFTRA has reached a tentative deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). If ratified, the new contract would end the actors union’s historic 118-day strike.

“We’re set up to go six months if we have to,” SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher said when the strike began on July 14, and while it didn’t reach that point, the work stoppage did last longer than expected. People on all sides of the entertainment industry felt hopeful that the AMPTP would reach common ground with the actors after the Sept. 26 end of the 148-day Writers Guild of America strike thanks to a deal the WGA negotiating committee called “exceptional.”

And while that deal did make room for SAG-AFTRA to begin negotiating again on Oct. 2, by Oct. 11, those talks had fallen apart, with the union alleging “bully tactics” on the studios’ part, while the studios said the divide between the parties was “too great.”

As the strike approached 100 days, A-list actors like George Clooney pressured Drescher and SAG-AFTRA leadership to reach a deal, even putting forth a (rejected) proposal of their own to increase dues and decrease residuals for the top-earners in order to make up for some of the money the studios were refusing to pay. But the studios did finally invite the guild back to the bargaining table on Oct. 24 with a new offer. By Nov. 4, they had delivered their “last, best and final offer” — which was deliberated on for four more days.

On Nov. 8, Disney CEO Bob Iger and Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav expressed optimism that the strike would end soon on their companies’ respective earnings calls. Later that day, the two parties finally reached a tentative agreement, causing wide celebration throughout the business as SAG-AFTRA members wait to vote on and likely ratify their new contract.

“Woo hooo!!!! Let’s hope the deal is fair and we can get back to work!” wrote Daniel Dae Kim on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Say what???? YAY!!! The strike is over!!!!! @sagaftra” posted Rosie Perez.

On Threads, DC Studios co-chief and co-CEO James Gunn posted a simple praying hands emoji.

“Union strong,” wrote Dani Fernandez. “Being both WGA and SAG I have been on strike since May 2nd. Good lord. Thank you to everyone who had our back. Thank you to all my sister unions for joining the lines. Thank you to our strike captains, neg com, and pre guild folks who showed up.
Strikes work.”

Along with the deal itself, the fact that actors will now be allowed to publicly discuss their projects again has created cause for celebration.

“YES!!! Hallelujah. I can tweet a certain trailer that I am VERY EXCITED ABOUT at midnight,” posted Kumail Nanjiani on X, formerly known as Twitter. He is most likely referring to “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire,” for which a trailer was released on Wednesday.

“I can finally say it: watch my documentary Saturday night at 8 on HBO/MAX!” wrote Albert Brooks on X, formerly known as Twitter, about his film “Defending My Life.” “I can finally say it: watch my documentary Saturday night at 8 on HBO/MAX! I can’t wait for you to see it! Couldn’t say a word until now!!”

The Directors Guild of America shared a statement, saying, “Congratulations to SAG-AFTRA on successfully reaching a tentative agreement that addresses the unique needs of their members. Directors and their teams look forward to our industry getting back to work and collaborating with actors, writers, craftspeople and crews to create film and television that entertains billions around the world.”

The Producers Guild of America also weighed in. “The Producers Guild of America congratulates SAG-AFTRA for their unwavering dedication in reaching an agreement with the studios,” the union said. “We eagerly look forward to collaborating with our fellow writers, actors and directors as we collectively work towards revitalizing our industry and returning to work.”

See more reactions to the end of the actors’ strike below.


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