SAG-AFTRA broke off talks with AMPTP, the actors are on strike effective today

That Deadline story about studios waiting to come to the negotiating table with striking writers was a turning point. According to Deadline’s studio sources, executives want to stretch out the strike for several more months and make writers starve and lose their apartments, all so the WGA will accept less. The problem with that is the longer the WGA strike goes on, other unions will continue to join the WGA. The studios also thought they could placate SAG-Aftra and bring in federal mediators to avoid an actors’ strike. They could not. Even with a federal mediator on site, SAG-Aftra is on strike, effective today.

Contract negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP broke off tonight, and the guild’s national board will meet Thursday morning to formally approve the launch of a strike.

It will be the first actors strike against the film and television industry since 1980 and the first time that actors and writers have been on strike at the same time since 1960, when Ronald Reagan was president of the Screen Actors Guild. Picketing is set to begin Friday morning.

Here is the full statement from SAG-AFTRA:

SAG-AFTRA’s Television/Theatrical/Streaming contracts have expired without a successor agreement.

After more than four weeks of bargaining, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) — the entity that represents major studios and streamers, including Amazon, Apple, Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros. Discovery — remains unwilling to offer a fair deal on the key issues that are essential to SAG-AFTRA members.

In the face of the AMPTP’s intransigence and delay tactics, SAG-AFTRA’s negotiating committee voted unanimously to recommend to the National Board a strike of the Producers-SAG-AFTRA TV/Theatrical/Streaming Contracts which expired July 12, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. PT.

SAG-AFTRA’s National Board will vote Thursday morning on whether to strike.

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher said: “SAG-AFTRA negotiated in good faith and was eager to reach a deal that sufficiently addressed performer needs, but the AMPTP’s responses to the union’s most important proposals have been insulting and disrespectful of our massive contributions to this industry. The companies have refused to meaningfully engage on some topics and on others completely stonewalled us. Until they do negotiate in good faith, we cannot begin to reach a deal. We have no choice but to move forward in unity, and on behalf of our membership, with a strike recommendation to our National Board. The board will discuss the issue this morning and will make its decision.”

[From Deadline]

AMPTP also issued a union-blaming statement, crying about how SAG “walked away” from the four-week negotiations. The actors’ strike was what worried the studios – they were confident that they could bully and starve the writers, but actual movie stars? Movie stars and famous actors with huge profiles, all on picket lines? Yeah. The optics will be amazing. Truly, I hope a SAG strike and the complete shut down of every movie and scripted TV show brings AMPTP to the table with real proposals and solutions in the next few weeks.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Cover Images.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

45 Responses to “SAG-AFTRA broke off talks with AMPTP, the actors are on strike effective today”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. JW says:

    Did Fran issue her statement from Puglia over a glass of Barolo?

    • Singhsong says:

      Right? Nibbling on truffles and enjoying the view. Good for her!

    • Sportie says:

      Frankly, I’m surprised that she came out with such a strong statement. Credit where credit is due. A couple of podcasts I listen to, hosted by individuals in both the Writer and Actor guilds have nothing nice to say about her job as president of the guild. They were already frustrated going into these negotiations because the election was nothing more than a popularity contest and Fran (while a charming personality) is in way over her head and doesn’t seem interested in learning (hence the Puglia vacation during negotiations). Sadly, they could have had Matthew Modine as president who’s passionate and well versed in the needs of the job.

      • Betsy says:

        If these contracts don’t get ratified and they keep striking the union members who are going to need financial support are IATSE (construction, hair,makeup, set dec, wardrobe, electric, greens, craft, scenic art, carpenters) who get $25-45 an hour and who are currently out of jobs due to the strike. Don’t forget how many people / unions are chained together in this business. It’s affecting everyone.

  2. farah says:

    “Movie stars and famous actors with huge profiles, all on picket lines? Yeah. The optics will be amazing.”

    I disagree with the statement that movie stars and famous actors on picket lines would have amazing optics. While it is true that movie stars and famous actors often have large profiles and can attract media attention, their participation can have mixed optics and potentially negative consequences. Studios might spin it as greedy actors wanting more money. Seeing wealthy actors with multiple homes and big paychecks might actually hurt the cause. So, the optics might not be as positive as anticipated.

    • Nonna_C says:

      Anyone who thinks that any actor, no matter how famous, has comparable wealth to a studio exec is being (willfully) deluded. Like people who complain about athlete salaries when it’s the team owners who suck public money away while sitting on billions.

      I never understand people who complain about millionaires (who do work) in order to support billionaires (who exploit everyone).

      • Sportie says:

        Amen! Exactly! Sadly, we see this same thing happen in sports. The billionaire owners and their media bro’s manage to convince a large portion of the population that it is the athlete’s who are greedy. Looking at you NFL!

    • Lightpurple says:

      There are actors on Twitter this morning posting residual checks they have received. Quite a few of them are for less than a dollar.

      • Jan90067 says:

        My BIL, who was a writer, FRAMED his residual check from Disney: it was for FOUR CENTS.

      • Toast Panda says:

        This is a great idea. Make it real and immediate. Everyone should post their crap residual cheques to drive it home. Probably executives and studio heads can’t be shamed but it’s good to get it out there that which is shameful anyway.

    • Delphine says:

      Mixed optics? Most people understand that only a small percentage of SAG/AFTRA actors are actually movie stars. So the ones who are actually movie stars and stand up to support this action will be seen as supporting the rest of the union as well as the writers.

    • lunchcoma says:

      The big movie stars can present it as being there to fight for their peers.

      But the industry is also full of actors who everyone knows and likes who never become movie star rich. Think of all of those prolific character actors who pass away to a great pouring of, “They made everything they were in SO much better!” Most of those actors are not wealthy, especially not as they get older, and an opportunity for them to talk about it could be very effective.

  3. ThatsNotOkay says:

    SAG-AFTRA did’n’t break off talks. Time ran out and the contract expired. Big difference. AMPTP didn’t meet their most crucial asks and that’s that. Our government is ceding responsibility for reigning in AI to corporations and unions and that’s a crime. But I know of two unions with the mettle to stand up for themselves and I’m proud of them.

  4. Maddy says:


    The WGA bitterly needs their support.

    Venice Film Festival is just six weeks away. I hope the studio heads & streamer leadership are sh*tting bricks right now!

  5. Jais says:

    Hope those execs are getting a sinking feeling in the pit of their stomachs as they lounge on those yachts. Where the orcas at?

  6. TeamAwesome says:

    I have a friend whose 20 person writing department (print/online) was let go last month in favor of getting an AI program. These issues aren’t going away. Actors have been supporting the writers on the line, but the entire union’s full support should hopefully help.

  7. bisynaptic says:


  8. Hannah says:

    I’m British, UK based, as is my (American) girlfriend. But we work around the world. We both work in the film industry. Her in Production & me in Art Dept. We’ve both been notified that tmrw (Friday) both our productions are shutting down. Her in South Africa and me in Romania as both have SAG actors on the call sheet

    While we’re all scared (crew) and anxious about our finances over the next 6 to 8 months. We absolutely 💯 support #SAGstrike #WGAstrike. We’ve both already seen the impact of AI in our industry

    Mostly in the form of the 3D body scans that are done on the actors to be used for CGI in post production & VFX

    So already we know that once the studios have those 3D body (and facial) scans. They can use those CG *actors* as & how they see fit. S06E01 Black Mirror explores exactly this

    We preemptively cancelled our streaming subscriptions, very strongly suspecting this was going to happen. That money can go towards the many funds that are being organised to help those *on the line* – even if it’s just to provide snacks and waters or SPF, or to help someone who could face a possible eviction

    We understand this is bigger than the individual. And in the long run affects the entire industry. So here’s hoping that people understand why this strike needs to happen ✊🏼

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      Wishing you & your girlfriend the best as you weather this. The strikes are crucial to ensure that the industry can survive. Black MIrror S06E01 was not just some of the most fun TV I’ve seen in a while but a very clear middle finger to Netflix (aka “Streamberry”).

      • BothSidesNow says:

        I too am sending you two my support as well. It’s about time that these conglomerates pay living wages instead of solely seeking to fatten their pockets!!

    • elizabeth says:

      Do you have any information on the funds? I’ve been wondering about that. And are there any funds to help the below the line crew who are also not working?

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ elizabeth, that would be fabulous if there is a GoFundMe as I would make a donation!! These people need to pay their bills and eat whilst they fight for a fair, livable wages which the studios have but are too GD selfish to share.

    • Delphine says:

      Absolutely!! 💯 percent I support you both and both unions 👏 Where’s the DGA?

  9. Lightpurple says:

    The vote is at 9 AM PT this morning and the results will be announced at a press conference at noon PT. Yvette Nicole Brown is on the SAG-AFTRA national board and is a good one to follow on Twitter for information about the negotiations

  10. Chantal says:

    Good for the writers for standing firm against these stalling tactics. The last time the WGA went on strike, we got reality tv. Now AI? I don’t know if we’re there yet but the studios are determined to be even more greedy and use AI instead of human talent. But are people ready and willing to pay to see AI actors instead of human ones? AI will also get rid of the “need” for all of the current award shows so how will the bigwigs congratulate themselves?

    Good for the SGA. I personally think this likely would have been resolved sooner had the SAG joined the WGA when they initially decided to strike. But better late than never. This strike will completely shut down Hollywood. The studios have been raking in millions while excluding the very people that made the movies/tv shows profitable and they thought they could bully the writers by waiting them out. This is a serious game changer. How much money will the studios lose before they finally capitulate?

    • pyritedigger says:

      Most collective bargaining agreements don’t permit strikes while under ‘lawful contract’ and it’s actually illegal to join in on a strike action to punish a particular employer. (This is to prevent a general strike situation.)

      They had to wait until the right time in their own negotiations no doubt.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ Chantal, these studio heads are living with the 1% which was achieved solely on the backs of the writers, not them!! Thought I must admit that both unions joining will hopefully create a greater success for WAG’s as they are the backbone of what is needed for these studios to succeed!!

        Do these nitwits actually believe that they can garner an audience using AI? If they do they are bigger fools than I thought that they were.

        As for CGI, how could they possibly use actors unless they’re have proper permission. They don’t own the likeness of actors, even though they probably think that they do.

      • Chantal says:

        @PYRITEDIGGER. Thanks for clarifying. It’s been many years since I took Business Law in college (I’ve never been a lawyer). Wonder if there might have been any loopholes…

        @BothSidesNow. From what I’ve heard on SM, the studios have already use likenesses of some actors. I didn’t pay much attention to the stories bc I thought “No way this is happening to actors”! I also wondered about who owns their likenesses. Snoop Dogg recently spoke about how they made an AI of him and that he could talk to the AI. There’s an AI Drake and AI The Weeknd “singing”. Now I’m going to have to take some anti nausea meds and go down that rabbit hole. Seems there might be some truth to it after all.

      • Jais says:

        Feel like the issue with AI will eventually end up in the courts. Even extras get VFX now and what’s stopping their likeness from being used if they’re not a big star speaking out. It’s messy and heading towards dystopian. I’ve worked with child extras who would go and get their whole likeness snapped in a dark room by hundreds of cameras so they could change their image if needed during post-production. And you think there’s not greedy people out there who will just use this kids likeness in a pinch if needed? It’s the Wild West in terms of what can happen.

  11. Little Red says:

    So, I assume the things that were filming currently. like Deadpool3, will stop?

    • H says:

      I follow both Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman on IG and I expect they will be making an announcement about Deadpool 3 – it’s filming in the UK. Both actors have to be members of SAG, so I can’t imagine them crossing picket lines.

    • Marietta2381 says:

      Everything stops in Hollywood/any project with a WGA/SAG-AFTRA person working. No one will be working unless they use AI. Which is basically the point of the strike (other than residuals.)

  12. detritus says:


  13. Betsy says:

    Always pro union but does this fill anyone with a tiny degree of fear? Hear me out: there are those who think that Trump was only able to run for president and “win” because he was spotlighted in the gnarly reality show that propelled that has been back to prominence. I’m concerned about the law of unintended consequences here.

    But again, I support both the striking writers and the actors.

    • ncboudicca says:

      Betsy,I understand what you’re saying, but as far as reality tv goes – that train has already left the station. We’re completely saturated with it already. I’m truly more concerned about AI – not necessarily that I might lose my job, but that a malicious entity could control my life by manipulating reality; or maybe since I have a million things in this house connected to the internet, an AI bot will compile data on me and decide that I’m not “loyal” to Government X, and then I’m in jail or worse.

      • Betsy says:

        I’m not concerned about reality tv. I hate it, I don’t watch and because of how much of it infects network tv, I haven’t watched network tv in years. My point was that Donald Trump was accidentally made famous again which allowed him to become political.

  14. phaedra7 says:

    These EXECUTIVES who are sitting in their cozy offices are now getting the understanding of this:
    WITHOUT WRITERS, DIRECTORS, ACTORS, AND PRODUCTION CREW MEMBERS, THERE ARE NO FILMS NOR TV SHOWS! I am very happy/glad that these professionals are protesting/ striking against these big-wig higher-ups who don’t care about the above persons’ livelihood–even though they (like Bob Iger, DISNEY CEO) are obtaining million-dollar annual salaries!