SAG-AFTRA 118-Day Strike Ends As Super Deal Is Struck

After almost four months, the lengthy SAG-AFTRA strike is coming to an end after the actors finally reached a lucrative agreement with the studios.

The Screen Actors Guild began striking in July, lamenting poor pay by the big studios and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in production.

SAG-AFTRA Reaches Tentative Teal With Big Studios

On Wednesday, the SAG-AFTRA committee reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract with studios, officially ending the 118-day strike unanimously.

SAG AFTRA Still Reviewing Last, Best and Final Offer’

The union announced that the strike would end at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, and then go to the union’s national board on Friday for approval. For the past weeks, the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee and studios have been at it, trying to devise a deal that serves both parties, particularly the actors.

Per Variety, the agreement is the first-ever protection deal for actors against artificial intelligence and a historic pay increase. The deal will reportedly see most minimums increase by 7% — two percent above the increases received by the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America.

While the union hasn’t released any details about the tentative deal, the publication claims full details are expected to be released Friday after the national board vote.

SAG-AFTRA and the studios first convened for negotiations on October 2 with the big players Ted Sarandos of Netflix, David Zaslav of Warner Bros. Discovery, Bob Iger of Disney, and Donna Langley, the Group chairman and chief content officer of  NBCUniversal Studio in attendance.

However, both parties reached a headlock, and the studio ended up walking out on October 11 over SAG-AFTRA’s proposal to charge a fee per every streaming subscriber on major platforms in a move that the union’s chief negotiator called “mystifying,” reports The Hollywood Reporter.

After a two-week break, they reconvened on October 24; this time, the studios had upped their offer. They came with a generous offer to increase actors’ wage floors and a slightly modified version of a success-based streaming bonus similar to what was offered to WGA. However, there was still the issue of AI, which the union believed was a threat to its members.

Is The WGA Strike Coming To An End? Writers Guild Holds 'Encouraging' Talks With Hollywood Studios

On Saturday, the studios presented their “last, best and final” offer, but both sides kept negotiating until reaching the final agreement that finally stopped the strike.

The 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike is the longest in history, eclipsing the former 1980 strike by 23 days.

WGA Reached An Agreement After 146 Days

The highly-anticipated end of the SAG-AFTRA strike is quite reminiscent of the WGA strike, which came to an end in September after the writers had been out of work for 146 days.

As we reported, WGA representatives of WGA and Hollywood major studios reached an agreement After a 10-hour negotiation on day two of the five-day negotiation process.

Both parties reached a three-year contract, and the co-chairs of the negotiating committee broke the good news to its members via an email.

“DEAR MEMBERS, We have reached a tentative agreement on a new 2023 MBA, which is to say an agreement in principle on all deal points, subject to drafting final contract language,” the message began.

It continued, “What we have won in this contract – most particularly, everything we have gained since May 2 – is due to the willingness of this membership to exercise its power, to demonstrate its solidarity, to walk side-by-side, to endure the pain and uncertainty of the past 146 days.”

Is The WGA Strike Coming To An End? Writers Guild Holds 'Encouraging' Talks With Hollywood Studios

The deal was described as “exceptional” with “meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.” Unlike the SAG-AFTRA, who called for the strike to end almost immediately, WGA urged their members not to return to work until specifically authorized to by the Guild.

They, however, immediately suspended picketing.

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