Yesterday, a negotiating committee of The Writers Guild of America (WGA) met with negotiators from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). AMPTP represented studios, streaming services, and production companies for the negotiations. The WGA and AMPTP met to discuss the writers strike and attempt to come to an agreement.
In an Instagram post by the Writers Guild West, the guild announced the tentative deal. “The WGA and AMPTP have reached a tentative agreement. This was made possible by the enduring solidarity of WGA members and extraordinary support of our union siblings who stood with us for over 146 days. More details coming after contract language is finalized. #WGAStrike”
The governing boards of the WGA are expected to vote on the contract today or tomorrow. If they approve the contract, the writers will then vote on it. If the writers vote to accept it, the writers strike will officially end.
According to Andrew Dalton at The Associated Press, “The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists said its leaders will look closely at the deal struck by writers, who walked out over many of the same issues as actors.” This could mean a foreseeable end to the actors strike as well if the executives “return to the table and make the fair deal…members deserve and demand.”
What’s Been Happening with the Actors?
As of Thursday, July 13th, actors joined writers on the picket lines in continuation of Hollywood’s ongoing strikes. The announcement was abrupt when the president of SAG-AFTRA Fran Drescher told the New York Times, “I am shocked by the way the people that we have been in business with are treating us! How far apart we are on so many things. How they plead poverty, that they’re losing money left and right when giving hundreds of millions of dollars to their C.E.O.s. It is disgusting. Shame on them!” With a myriad of reasons for striking, actors’ biggest concern is the AI technology that will create fake performances without their approval. Streaming platforms were also another concern, given they have changed Hollywood’s entire business. Movie theaters are becoming a thing of the past.
Along with the writers, it was no surprise that actors had planned to go on strike for some time. Back in early June, 65,000 members voted to go on strike as negotiations were going on with the studios. Then, in late June, more than 1,000 actors, including Meryl Streep, John Leguizamo, Jennifer Lawrence, Constance Wu, and Ben Stiller, signed a letter saying “we are prepared to strike,” according to the New York Times.
What’s Happening Now?
With actors now striking, more television series have also stopped. Movie release dates have been pushed back. Companies have to lay off employees. Most recently, the release date for Dune 2 has moved forward to March 2024. Actors also cannot work in front of a camera or advertise for current projects. They cannot attend San Diego Comic Con, forcing the convention to cancel over two dozen panels. Recent movie festivals and premieres have also been postponed since actors cannot attend.
In support of the strike, American rapper Snoop Dog officially canceled his Hollywood Bowl show. This comes even after postponing the show from June to October. Actor Dwayne Johnson also donated to the SAG-AFTRA relief fund. The fund will give aid to up to 10,000 who need it during the strike. An Indiana Jones stunt performer even went as far as to light himself on fire during a rally. These are all more representations of what actors will do to get what they want during tough times.
With Hollywood at a standstill, the big question entertainment fans, as well as studios, have to ponder is: what to do now.
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