It’s not quite Christmas but it’s still a miracle.
Ding, dong, the witch is dead! The SAG-AFTRA labor union and the Hollywood studios have finally reached an agreement that will end the strike that has hamstrung production and promotion of a great many shows and movies over the past few months.
According to a report in Variety, Wednesday, negotiators for SAG-AFTRA announced that the 118-day strike was over as it approved a tentative deal that will be sent to the national board for final approval on Friday. The deal addresses the main points of contention which were pay raises, protection against AI, and shared revenue for streaming. Variety states that under the new deal, actors will get at minimum a “historic” 7% raise, a “streaming participation bonus” for actors who appear on the most popular wifi shows and films, and that contentious protect against the use of AI to generate an actor’s likeness.
The fact that they had to fight studios for such an unfair and predatory caveat is wild but at least they won the fight.
“We have arrived at a contract that will enable SAG-AFTRA members from every category to build sustainable careers,” the union said in the email. “Many thousands of performers now and into the future will benefit from this work.”
This extended strike was the longest in Hollywood history eclipsing the strike of 1980 that lasted 95 days. Had this work stoppage gone past the holidays, the studios warned that there would be a good chance that the entire slate of summer blockbusters would be at risk. The industry needs those months to fill their coffers in order for there to be funds to invest in more production. That’s something that neither side could afford to forfeit.
Welcome back, Kotter.
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