Negotiators for Hollywood’s actors’ union unanimously recommended a strike after talks with studios broke down, setting the stage for performers to join writers on picket lines and disrupt scores of shows and movies.
The SAG-AFTRA union said its national board would vote on a strike order. If approved, Hollywood studios would face their first dual work stoppage in 63 years and be forced to shut down productions across the US.
Both SAG-AFTRA – Hollywood’s largest union, with 160,000 members – and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) are demanding increases in base pay and residuals in the streaming TV era plus assurances that their work will not be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI).
Fran Drescher, former star of The Nanny and the president of SAG-AFTRA, said studios’ responses to the actors’ concerns had been “insulting and disrespectful.”
“The companies have refused to meaningfully engage on some topics and on others completely stonewalled us,” she said in a statement after a deadline for actors to agree a new contract expired at midnight on Wednesday. “Until they do negotiate in good faith, we cannot begin to reach a deal.”