Variety reported that the union’s bargaining committee approved the deal unanimously. The agreement will be presented to the national SAG-AFTRA board for approval on Friday.
“We have reached an agreement that will allow SAG-AFTRA members of all categories to build sustainable careers,” the union said in an email to Variety. Kevin E. West, a committee member, said there were “tears of joy and excitement” in the committee room after the contract was approved.
Union members went on strike in mid-July. They demanded an increase in the minimum wage, a share of revenue from streaming services and protection from being replaced by “digital replicas” created by artificial intelligence (AI).
The AI controversy
According to the union, negotiators have tentatively agreed on a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), an association representing major studios, streaming services and production companies. The breakthrough means Hollywood will be able to go into full production for the first time since May once union members agree to ratify the deal in the coming weeks.
The actors’ protest, as in the case of the screenwriters, is related to the pay conditions when working for streaming services, which, according to the artists, are significantly worse than those of traditional TV productions. Both strikes are also driven by concerns about the replacement of human labor by content generated by artificial intelligence. Actors worry that studios could manipulate their likenesses or replace human actors with digital images thanks to AI advances.
Jean-Claude van Damme arrived in Prague
Writers Union members returned to writing scripts in late September. However, due to the ongoing actors’ strike, many productions were still out of work. According to an estimate by the Milken Institute, the work stoppage in Hollywood cost California more than six billion USD (138 billion CZK).
The Hollywood work stoppage has prompted TV stations to fill their fall broadcasts with reruns, competition shows and reality shows. Film studios then had to postpone the premieres and filming of a number of films, including Dune: Part Two, the latest installment of Mission: Impossible and the live-action remake of Disney’s animated classic Snow White, Reuters reported.