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News > U.S.

US Artists and Studios Reach Tentative Deal to End Strike

  • Workers on strike, U.S., 2023.

    Workers on strike, U.S., 2023. | Photo: X/ @AndyVermaut

Published 9 November 2023

The strike officially ended at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, bringing an end to more than seven months of labor unrest in Hollywood.

On Wednesday, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) announced that they had reached a tentative agreement that should end the actors' 118-day strike and breathe life back into Hollywood within weeks.


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SAG-AFTRA is an American labor union representing approximately 160,000 media professionals worldwide. The AMPTP is a trade association based in Los Angeles that represents over 350 American television and film production companies.

The breakthrough came after months of negotiations, involving twists and turns, offers and rejections that have kept the industry and its stakeholders on edge and out of work for a long, lean summer.

The strike began on July 14, 2023, and though SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher had stated that they were prepared to strike for up to six months if necessary, industry pundits initially predicted it would last for just a few months. However, early in the strike, it became clear that finding common ground between the union and the studios would be no easy task.

Despite mounting pressure and efforts to resume negotiations, talks between the parties initially fell apart, with the union accusing the studios of employing "bully tactics," while the studios claimed that the divide between them was "insurmountable." The situation remained at an impasse until Oct. 24 when the studios invited SAG-AFTRA back to the bargaining table with a new offer.

Thereafter, the negotiating process was still far from smooth sailing. It took until Nov. 4 for the studios to present their "last, best and final offer." This offer was thoroughly deliberated for an additional four days, while the industry waited on tenterhooks.

During their respective earnings calls to shareholders on Nov. 8, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav and Disney CEO Bob Iger expressed their belief that the strike would soon come to an end.

This optimism proved to be well-founded as later that day, SAG-AFTRA and the studios finally announced a tentative deal, sparking joyful reactions throughout the entire entertainment community.

The deal marks a turning point for the union and its members who have endured months of uncertainty and financial strain due to the strike. As news of the tentative agreement spread, SAG-AFTRA members expressed their relief and hope for a fair resolution.

The strike officially ended at 12:01 a.m. local time on Thursday, bringing an end to more than seven months of labor unrest in Hollywood. Notably, this strike saw the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA picketing together, marking the industry's first joint strike in over 60 years.

The weeks of negotiations resulted in the studios responding to the guild's counteroffer with a self-described "historic" package, which included substantial wage and bonus increases, as well as comprehensive AI protections.

"We didn't just come toward you, we came all the way to you," Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, told guild leaders during the negotiations, highlighting the studios' commitment to reaching a resolution. The negotiations continued as both sides carefully examined the fine print of the proposals.

The urgency of reaching a deal was underscored when the AMPTP informed SAG-AFTRA that a decision had to be made by local time 5:00 p.m. Wednesday on the future of the strike. Time was running out to salvage the broadcast season and the 2024 summer movie slate.

With the board poised to sign off on the tentative deal, eligible members of the guild are expected to vote soon to ratify the new agreement. This swift resolution could lead to a speedy return to work and the resumption of production.

Since the union has called for a stop to the strike before the ratification vote has been completed, that signals to the industry that production might restart as early as this month, putting everyone back to work in time for Christmas. 

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