MOVIE NEWS – Nearly a month after SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP reached a tentative agreement, the actors’ union has officially approved the deal. This officially ended the strike.
The actors’ strike is officially over, as SAG-AFTRA has ratified a new deal with the studios. The actors’ union went on strike back in July. They objected to the proposal of the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) for a new agreement, which was deemed insufficient. The strike came to a tentative end in early November. At that point, SAG and AMPTP reached an agreement, but the ratification vote did not begin until a week later.
Deadline reports that SAG-AFTRA members have approved the deal, ending the strike.
78.33% of voters voted in favour of the agreement. This far exceeds the 50%+1 majority required for ratification. According to SAG, 38.15% of members voted, which is a significant increase compared to past years. In 2020, 27.2% of the members voted for the then-new agreement, and in 2017, 15.3%. Fran Drescher, president of the union, said in a statement:
“I’m proud of our SAG-AFTRA membership. They struck for 118 days to grant the TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee the necessary leverage to secure over $1 billion in gains, along with the union’s first-ever protections around AI technology. Now they’ve locked in the gains by ratifying the contract. SAG-AFTRA members have remained incredibly engaged throughout this process, and I know they’ll continue their advocacy throughout our next negotiation cycle. This is a golden age for SAG-AFTRA, and our union has never been more powerful.”
What’s Next After the SAG-AFTRA Strike Ends?
The end of the actors’ strike was different from the writers’ strike, which also took place in the summer. The Writers Guild of America reached its tentative agreement with AMPTP on September 24, which was ratified about two weeks later. The SAG-AFTRA deal has come under closer scrutiny in the past month. Mainly because of the issue of artificial intelligence.
One of the actors’ main points during the strike was to prevent studios from using AI to replace performers, and even after the deal was reached, some actors spoke out, insisting it wasn’t enough to protect union members.
Artificial intelligence is probably the reason why only 78.33% of voting members approved the deal. This starkly contrasts with the 99% who approved the WGA agreement. Still, many actors voiced their support for the new deal. Among them, for example, is Star Trek actor Zachary Quinto. Now that the agreement has been ratified, it will be in effect until June 30, 2026.
In many ways, Hollywood is already back to normal. A day after the strike temporarily ended in November, the actors returned to work to promote and shoot the postponed projects. Ratification of the SAG-AFTRA agreement ensures that these projects will not have to be shut down again. Also, that actors get the wages and treatment they deserve. After a historic year, this chapter of the Hollywood labour movement has come to an end.