American actors are poised to go on strike after negotiations between parties broke down.
Actors’ trade union SAG-AFTRA – who represent 160,000 performers – say they have voted unanimously to recommend a strike after talks with Hollywood studios failed to reach an agreement. The vote will take place later today.
Writers in America have now been striking for two months, and should the actors’ strike go ahead, it would be the first time since 1960 that both guilds have walked out simultaneously.
Two of the actors’ big demands are higher pay and safeguards against unauthorised use of their images through artificial intelligence (AI).
A statement from SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher called the studio’s response to actors’ demands “insulting and disrespectful,” claiming they had been “stonewalled completely” on certain issues.
She said: “SAG-AFTRA negotiated in good faith and was eager to reach a deal that sufficiently addressed performer needs, but the AMPTP’s responses to the union’s most important proposals have been insulting and disrespectful of our massive contributions to this industry.
“The companies have refused to meaningfully engage on some topics and on others completely stonewalled us. Until they do negotiate in good faith, we cannot begin to reach a deal. We have no choice but to move forward in unity, and on behalf of our membership, with a strike recommendation to our National Board. The board will discuss the issue this morning and will make its decision.”
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