SAG-AFTRA has delayed a potential strike to at least July 12th, as Hollywood celebrates a long Fourth of July weekend.
As the Writers Guild of America carries through strong with their strike, now officially in its second month, the Screen Actors Guild has avoided — or at least delayed — their own, as SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have agreed to extend their contract to July 12th, thus allowing negotiations to continue. This will be especially helpful since it is July 4th weekend, a holiday that typically sees the industry on short hiatus.
As per a joint statement from SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP, “The agreements, which were set to expire at 11:59 p.m. PT tonight, will now expire on July 12, at 11:59 p.m. PT…The parties will continue to negotiate under a mutually agreed upon media blackout. Neither organization will comment to the media about the negotiations during the extension.”
As previously reported, a SAG-AFTRA strike would be incredibly damaging to the film and television industry, with countless projects facing delays and axings, not to mention more than 160,000 union members being out of jobs. Current president Fran Drescher has remained hopeful that the negotiations would favor the union. An overwhelming 98% of SAG-AFTRA supports a strike should certain requests not be met by studios. Last month, the organization made this statement: “Outdated contract terms, coupled with the evolution of the media business, including shorter season orders and longer hiatuses between seasons makes it increasingly difficult for our members to achieve and maintain a middle class lifestyle working as a performer. In sharp contrast to the diminishing compensation paid to our members, the studios are posting immense profits with a bullish outlook as demonstrated by lavish corporate executive compensation.”
Like the WGA, SAG-AFTRA has also expressed concerns over the use of artificial intelligence within the industry, calling it “a real and immediate threat.” Other issues include residuals that come from streaming services, the fight against forced self-taping of auditions and more. SAG-AFTRA was officially formed in 2012 following the merger of the organizations, thus uniting actors, radio personalities, stunt people, and more.
What do you think will come of the potential SAG-AFTRA strike? Give us your prediction in the comments section below.