Members of SAG-AFTRA are showing their support after the labor union failed to reach an agreement with studios over fairer wages, the use of artificial intelligence in media and other issues.
SAG’S president, Fran Drescher, confirmed on Thursday, July 13, that the union, which represents over 160,000 TV and film stars, would be striking alongside the Writer’s Guild of America after meetings with the AMPTP failed to result in a new contract.
“This is a very seminal hour for us. I went in thinking that we would be able to avert a strike. The gravity of this move is not lost on me,” Drescher stated in a press conference on Thursday, per NBC News. “It’s a very serious thing that impacts thousands, if not millions of people all across this country and around the world. Not only members of this union, but people who work in other industries that service the people that work in this industry. … We had no choice. We are the victims here. We are being victimized by a very greedy entity.”
The AMPTP, meanwhile, shared in a statement that they are “deeply disappointed that SAG-AFTRA has decided to walk away from negotiations,” adding, “This is the Union’s choice, not ours. In doing so, it has dismissed our offer of historic pay and residual increases, substantially higher caps on pension and health contributions, audition protections, shortened series option periods, a groundbreaking AI proposal that protects actors’ digital likenesses, and more.”
The statement continued: “Rather than continuing to negotiate, SAG-AFTRA has put us on a course that will deepen the financial hardship for thousands who depend on the industry for their livelihoods. There are 160,000 members of SAG-AFTRA and over 11,000 members of the Writers Guild of America.”
SAG’s decision marks the first time the writer’s and actor’s unions have been on strike simultaneously since 1960. While the WGA’s strike, which began in May, led to certain projects ceasing mid-production, SAG’s addition means all TV and film will immediately go on an indefinite hiatus. Actors will also be unable to promote any of their current or future projects while the strike is in play.
Keep scrolling to see which actors have shown their support for the SAG-AFTRA strike: