Actors Signal To Join Writers on the Picket Lines

Jack Quillin /
Jack Quillin /

Hollywood union SAD-AFTRA held a vote on June 5th concerning their current contracts with major studios, streamers, and production companies. With 65,000 voting members, the union returned an overwhelming 98% in favor of joining the writers on strike if a new contract is not reached by June 30th.

Representing over 160,000 screen actors, broadcast journalists, announcers, hosts, and stunt performers, the union will begin their formal negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) on June 7th. This will also mark a month of writers being offset after their own AMPTP negotiations fell through.

One glimmer of light is who the potential strike will target most; should they strike it will only be from television and film productions; news as well as broadcasting would continue without interruption.

At the crux of the actor’s strike is base compensation, which they claim was severely undercut by inflation, as well as streaming residuals. A threat of unregulated artificial intelligence in TV and film acting, benefit plans, and the seemingly difficult self-taped auditions. Auditions specifically were taped by the casting and production, so the actors had nothing to worry about there.

The WGA, DGA, and SAG-AFTRA unions have all been strong supporters of the writers since they first went on the picket lines six weeks ago. Many in Hollywood are worried all three will end up on strike at the same time, especially with directors’ and actors’ unions both in contract negotiations. For now, that seems preventable as the Directors have agreed in kind to a new agreement, but union members still need to vote on it.