Emmy Awards Postponed Indefinitely Due to Writers’ and Actors’ Strikes

July 28, 2023

This year’s Emmy Awards ceremony, celebrating artistic and technical excellence in Television programming, has been postponed due to ongoing writers’ and actors’ strikes.  

The 75th annual Emmys were scheduled for September 18. There is so far no new date for the ceremony. 

SAG-AFTRA, Hollywood’s largest union, announced that the actors it represents were on strike as of July 13 after talks with Hollywood studios broke down, joining writers in their initial walkout.

Unionized movie and television writers went on strike in May after contract negotiations between their union, Writers Guild of America (WGA), and the trade association Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which bargains on behalf of the 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 reduction of median writer-producer pay by 4%—or 23% when adjusted for inflation.

One of the sticking points for actors is the threat of artificial intelligence being used to replace live performers. Some actors who do “extra” work, appearing in backgrounds of scenes, have claimed that already studios have scanned their images to be reused in the future as AI—without residual pay for those actors. 

About 32,000 people worked at least once as a background actor last year, making them a sizable share of SAG-AFTRA’s 160,000 members.

Earlier this week, the streaming service Netflix listed a $900,000 AI job, which indicates the technology will be used to “create great content.” 

Reacting to the actors’ initial walkout earlier this month, 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.”

Neither Fox Entertainment nor the Television Academy of Arts & Sciences has so far commented on the Emmy Awards’ postponement. 

PHOTO Source: David James Henry

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