Actors Join Writers on Strike, Bringing Hollywood to a Halt

This marks the first time the WGA and SAG have been on strike at the same time since 1960

BY Alex HudsonPublished Jul 13, 2023

The Writers Guild of America strike has stretched on for weeks, and now the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is set to go on strike as well, essentially bringing work in Hollywood to a stop.

Negotiations with studios have fallen apart, and the union's negotiating committee has voted unanimously to recommend a strike. The national board will vote on whether to make the strike official today, with a press conference set for noon Los Angeles time (3 p.m. ET).

UPDATE (7/13, 3:30 p.m. ET): SAG-AFTRA has made it official, as the union of 160,000 actors and performers is now on strike.

This would mark the first time in 63 years that both actors and writers have been on strike at the same time. That happened in 1960, when Ronald Reagan led the SAG.

"The studios and streamers have implemented massive unilateral changes in our industry's business model, while at the same time insisting on keeping our contracts frozen in amber," SAG-AFTRA's National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said in a statement. "Their refusal to meaningfully engage with our key proposals and the fundamental disrespect shown to our members is what has brought us to this point. The studios and streamers have underestimated our members' resolve, as they are about to fully discover."

SAG-AFTRA is seeking restrictions on AI technology, which could recreate an actor's likeness (or, in the case of the WGA strike, a writer's style). Both actors and writers are looking to update the industry's business model for the streaming era.

The WGA strike had already brought production on many shows and movies to a halt. A SAG-AFTRA strike would mean that the ones still filming would also be shut down.

Previously, reports suggested that studios would let the strike stretch on for months, until writers began running out of money.

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