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More: The moment @sagaftra called a strike to join the WGA on the picket line for the first time since 1960. Historic. Outside Netflix In Los Angeles (07/13/23)



Some 160,000 actors represented by SAG-AFTRA are on strike, joining more than 11,000 writers in the film and television industry on the picket lines for the first double strike in 60 years.
SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America each voted to strike after their respective contract negotiations broke down with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents studios including Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Discovery-Warner, NBC Universal, Paramount and Sony.
“The AMPTPs responses to the unions most important proposals have been insulting and disrespectful of our massive contributions to this industry,” SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher said in a statement. “The companies have refused to meaningfully engage on some topics and on others completely stonewalled us.”
One of those topics was the studios desire to own AI scans of actors in perpetuity without compensation for each use.
At a press conference announcing the strike, SAG-AFTRAs chief negotiator, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, revealed that studios “proposed that our background performers should be able to be scanned, get one days pay, and their companies should own that scan, their image, their likeness and should be able to use it for the rest of eternity on any project they want, with no consent and no compensation.”
At the same time, striking actors and writers are fighting back against the low pay for streaming movies and shows, and lack of residuals. Viewership for streaming content is not typically revealed by streamers, unlike TV ratings or box office numbers, and those working on the most successful streaming content do not get residual compensation commensurate to similarly successful projects in traditional TV and film.
“You cannot change the business model as much as it has changed and not expect the contract to change too,” Drescher said in an impassioned speech Thursday. “Were not going to keep doing incremental changes on a contract that no longer honors what is happening right now with this business model that was foisted upon us. What are we doing… moving around furniture on the Titanic? Its crazy. So the jig is up AMPTP. We stand tall. You have to wake up and smell the coffee.”
A video shared by striking writer Michael Ouzas shows writers on the picket line in Los Angeles reacting to the announcement that SAG-AFTRA is going on strike.
“The moment @sagaftra called a strike to join the WGA on the picket line for the first time since 1960. Historic,” he tweeted alongside the video.
In a statement announcing the writers strike, which began on May 2, the WGA said “the companies’ behavior has created a gig economy inside a union workforce.”
“From their refusal to guarantee any level of weekly employment in episodic television, to the creation of a day rate in comedy variety, to their stonewalling on free work for screenwriters and on AI for all writers, they have closed the door on their labor force and opened the door to writing as an entirely freelance profession,” the WGA said.