Actors' Strike Finally Ending as SAG-AFTRA and Studios Agree on New Deal
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Following a 118-day strike, Deadline has reported that SAG-AFTRA has struck a tentative deal with the studios to officially end the strike. According to the report, the strike will conclude as of 12:01 a.m. PT on Nov. 9. This follows the latest round of negotiations in which Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said the actors' guild was given their "last, best, and final offer."This round of negotiations had begun on Oct. 24, and along with Zaslav, other execs involved with the talks include Netflix's Ted Sarandos, Disney's Bob Iger, and NBCUniversal's Donna Langley.
"We made a last and final offer, which met virtually all of the union's goals and includes the highest wage increase in 40 years and believe it provides for a positive outcome for all involved," Zaslav said about the deal ahead of the new report. "We recognize that we need our creative partners to feel valued and rewarded, and we look forward to both sides getting back to the business of telling great stories. As the strikes underscore, these are challenging times. Our industry is facing accelerated disruption in a rapidly changing marketplace. To succeed long-term, we must be flexible and adaptable and have a strong arsenal of assets that will enable us to maintain momentum amidst ever-evolving consumer behavior."
The deal is tentative, and before it's finalized, it will need to be ratified by eligible SAG-AFTRA members. It's said that the new deal comes with significant increases in wages and bonuses. There will also be "sweeping AI protections," a topic of discussion that has been getting increased attention in recent months. With the agreement reached, it's now expected that actors can be getting back to work within a few weeks.
Of course, even with productions able to start back up in the near future, the 2024 movie slate has already been heavily affected. Several films have been given delays, some of them pretty significantly. While Disney had been sticking with the planned May 2024 release date for Deadpool 3, director Shawn Levy recently suggested that even if the strike were to quickly come to an end, it would still be very difficult to make that planned date. Several films that have already been released may have had their box office returns negatively affected due to the strike preventing actors from promoting their films. The latest example of this would be the big-budget feature The Marvels, which will barely miss out on the window due to its imminent arrival in theaters.
The SAG-AFTRA Strike Follows the WGA Strike
The Writers Guild of America was the first to go on strike, and they were also the first to announce an end to theirs. The WGA strike officially started on May 2 and was concluded on Sept. 27, spanning a total of 148 days.