The SAG-AFTRA union representing actors announced that its members are on strike, joining writers in their walkout after talks with Hollywood Studios broke down.
The actors union’s national board unanimously voted Thursday to approve a strike recommendation by its negotiating committee. That recommendation had also been unanimous.
Hollywood studios are officially facing their first dual strike in 63 years.
Unionized movie and television writers went on strike in May after contract negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and the trade association Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) that bargains on behalf of studios broke down.
The writers strike’s main sticking points reportedly include union proposals that would require companies to staff television shows with a certain number of writers for a specific period of time. The union has asserted that writers face an “existential crisis” amid the emerging dominance of streaming services which the union says has led to the 4% reduction of media writer-producer pay—or 23% when adjusted for inflation.
The studios, meanwhile, have countered that they’ve offered “generous increases in compensation for writers.”
SAG-AFTRA is Hollywood’s largest union, with 160,000 members. The actors union is also demanding increases in base pay and residuals amid the streaming era, along with assurances that their work will not be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI).
The AMPTP said it was “deeply disappointed that SAG-AFTRA has decided to walk away from negotiations.”
President Biden weighed in about a week after the writers initially went on strike, saying they deserve a “fair deal.”