When Hollywood strikes: famous picket line moments
SAG-AFTRA ratify historic new three-year contract with studios
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In 2023, a historic strike brought Hollywood to a standstill for months. It started when members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) went on strike on May 2, demanding improvements to their working conditions, compensation structure, and protection of their jobs from AI. After several months of unsuccessful negotiations, the writers were joined on July 14 by their brothers in entertainment: the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG–AFTRA). This marked the first time both unions formed a dual strike since 1960. The WGA finally made a satisfactory deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) in September, after 148 days on strike. However, SAG-AFTRA continued its stint on the picket lines, holding out for their own moment of victory.
Finally, after 118 days—the longest SAG-AFTRA strike in history—they announced that they had reached an agreement. The strike officially ended on November 9. The deal includes the first-ever protective rights for actors against AI, as well as a historic pay raise of 7% across all minimums. Their pension and healthcare contributions will be increased, and a “streaming participation bonus" was also mentioned in an email from SAG-AFTRA to its members. This new contract between the union and studios is reportedly worth a whopping US$1 billion.
Union rules dictated that a vote must be held among the members and at least 50% must vote in favor in order for the deal to be ratified. Voting opened on November 14, and on December 5, SAG-AFTRA revealed that 78.33% of voters expressed their approval of the deal. This majority vote was much higher than expected as there have been grumbles on social media about the AI section of the contract. While not all members are satisfied with the provisions laid out to protect them from AI, SAG-AFTRA leaders reassured them that they will make further progress on this point during negotiations for the next contract in three years.
So, what are the most infamous Hollywood strikes that have seen stars take to the streets? Click through and join the picket lines.
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