UnNews:Hollywood strikes

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Saturday, June 22, 2024, 15:44 (UTC)

On May 2, 2023, The Writers Guild of America went on strike. On July 14, 2023, the actors joined them. On September 24, 2023 the writers reached a deal. on September 27, 2023, their strike ended. On November 8, 2023 the actors reached a tentative agreement, with the strike ending at midnight ET. This hub covers the latest developments, talks, solidarity, and threats to kill off your favorite character. No, not Eleven! Dear God, no!



Wednesday, December 6, 2023

The voting deadline was yesterday, and excellent news:

The SAG-AFTRA 2023 TV/Theatrical/Streaming contract has been ratified by 78.33% to 21.67% with a turnout of 38.15%.

Also today, I finally finished slogging through the 129-page contract. It's mind-boggling, everything that's in it, and I don't understand every single thing. But this is an epic deal. I want to thank Fran, Duncan, the Negotiating Team, the National Board, and all the actors for their tireless efforts for the past 145 days.

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Friday, December 1, 2023

SAG-AFTRA Magazine's Fall/Winter 2023 issue has been published.

SAG has done a deep dive into what's in the new tentative contract. Available as both a podcast and as a video.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Fran Drescher will receive a Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award.

AI companies are prasinging the actors' and writers' deals.

Friday, November 24, 2023

SAG-AFTRA has released the full 129-page tentative agreement. The WGA contract at 94 pages is roughly the length of Friday the 13th, whereas the SAG contract is five minutes longer than Jaws. But reading the WGA deal was like when I read the entire Lord of the Rings omnibus over the summer of 2004. I imagine reading the SAG contract will be like reading War and Peace.

Speaking of war and peace, Matthew Modine is not at all happy about the AI provisions and is waging war against this peaceful resolution and will be voting no on ratification. He joins Justine Bateman as yet another prominent naysayer looking to shake up the union. Remember that Modine has twice ran against Fran Drescher in the last two elections, and that he previously pledged solidarity in the strike.

Meanwhile, Drescher and WGA West President Meredith Stiehm have sat down with Deadline for episode 29 of their Strike Talk podcast.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Happy Felix Unger Day! SAG-AFTRA has just released a hub of details about the new deal. It currently includes a PDF about AI, a summary of the agreement, the strike termination, an exhaustive FAQ, informational meetings, contract news, and a recommendation for eligible members to vote yes. Eligible members are active and all paid up on their dues and/or initiation fees.

The full Memorandum has yet to be released, but I imagine it will be War and Peace compared to the 94-page WGA contract.

Friday, November 10, 2023

The SAG-AFTRA tentative deal has been approved by the National Board by 87 percent and will next go to union members to vote on no later than Tuesday, December 5, 2023.

Fran and Duncan also revealed some highlights from the deal, including but not limited to:

  • Most minimums will be increased by 7 percent (effective upon ratification), then 4 in July 2024 and 3.5 in 2025. Whereas the writers got a 5/4/3.5 deal. This will amount to a combined first-year increase of 11.28 percent, in line with the 11 percent SAG was asking for from the beginning.
  • Similarly the background actors will get 11 (effective Sunday)/4/3.5.
  • $1 billion in new wages and "benefit plan funding"
    • P&H increases
  • Streaming participation bonus similar but modified from the writers'
    • The streaming bonus will be "on top of existing residuals structures making work in streaming more sustainable for middle class actors."
    • Most of that will go to the actors on successful shows themselves, the rest to other actors via a special fund
    • Stunt coordinator fixed TV & streaming residuals
    • Linear television terms will be applied to high budget AVOD (ad-supported) streaming
  • AI consent and compensation
  • First self-tape audition: No more than 8 pages. Subsequent tapes/callbacks: No more than 12 pages.
    • Memorization = compensation
  • Nudity/revealing clothing protections, Sexual harassment protections
  • Producers can talk with actors with disabilities, seniors and minors about accommodations
  • Relocation allowances up to $5,000 "for up to six months." This will be a 153 percent increase.
  • "And in a monumental breakthrough, for the first time ever, the number of covered positions in the West Coast Zones will equal those of the East Coast Zones. This is projected to add almost 11,000 new covered background work days annually."

The statement reads: "The current contracts remain in effect during the member ratification process, except for wage increases, which go into effect during the ratification period. The term of the new agreement is for three years effective during the ratification period through June 30, 2026, and is retroactive upon ratification."

Wow! This is a big fucking deal! So far, this is every bit as epic as the writers' deal. I look forward to reading the full deal, even if I read it at a Moses pace.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Fran and Duncan have released an official statement on the end of the strike. They teased some of the highlights, which are pretty much the same as noted below. Pretty much reiterating everything noted in the earlier update.

Fran also sat down with NPR, where she revealed the "breakthrough" moment that ended the strike.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

After 118 days THE STRIKE IS OVER as of 12:01 a.m. ET Thursday! A TENTATIVE DEAL HAS BEEN REACHED! It includes huge AI protections, "above-pattern" minimum increases, streaming participation bonuses, P&H caps, increases for background actors, diverse community protections, and more. The full tentative agreement will be released upon SAG-AFTRA National Board review.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Here we go again, folks. SAG met Monday, deliberated "10 hours" today and will continue Wednesday.

Today was day 117.

Monday, November 6, 2023

SAG-AFTRA has reached-- Dammit! Again? "There are several essential items on which we still do not have an agreement, including AI. We will keep you informed as events unfold." Ugh! Enough already! Carol Lombardini and the AMPTP need to get their shit together already. This is beyond ridiculous! If I were SAG-AFTRA, if I were Fran or Duncan, I would have just taken the deal already -- not just for the actors' sake, but for future creatives who are stuck in crappy life situations, like me, or A24 villain Pearl. I don't think there's a fictional character from the past year I've related to the most.

Of course, I want a fair deal, the actors deserve a fair deal, but it's also true that I deserve a happier and more fulfilling life. But in my case, it hinges on all of these Hollywood strikes ending so that I can get my foot in the door in this industry I've been wanting to join (in some form) since I was a kid.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

SAG-AFTRA has "analyzed and thoroughly discussed" the offer. "Deliberations" Monday.

Today was day 115.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

AMPTP has presented SAG-AFTRA with a "Last, Best and Final Offer!" Again don't believe anything unless it comes directly from SAG-AFTRA.

Friday, November 3, 2023

SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP will meet on Saturday. Though the union hasn't confirmed it, there are rumblings that a deal is finally coming. Please, just end this nightmare already! All anyone is asking for is a fair deal.

WGA chief negotiator Ellen Stutzman has been promoted to WGA West Executive Director following David Young's exit. Congratulations.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

SAG-AFTRA was "on standby" awaiting response from the AMPTP. They will meet again tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

SAG-AFTRA "[finalized] our response" to yesterday's AI proposal by the AMPTP. They're still waiting for a response from the AMPTP regarding the union's Saturday counterproposal. Read the official SAG-AFTRA update.

Fran Drescher approves of last week's SNL sketch featuring Sarah Sherman as the once and future Nanny explaining the Halloween costume strike rules. However, Brad Garrett was not amused.

Drescher on Instagram clapped back at critics of her leadership.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Sorry, SAG members who bought Barbenheimer costumes -- the strike is still ongoing, as are the negotiations. The two sides "remain far apart on key issues," though the past week was "productive." They will be meeting again today. Read the official SAG-AFTRA update.

Friday, October 27, 2023

SAG-AFTRA has completed another day of talks. They will meet again "over the weekend." Maybe this will all be over by then and actors can wear struck Halloween costumes after all. Otherwise, we'll probably get flooded with ghosts, witches, cartoon and A24 costumes. Halloween 1, 4 and 5 are independent films, so technically you could dress up as Michael Myers as depicted in these specific films and not run afoul of strike rules.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

The Wednesday meeting was pushed to today in order for SAG-AFTRA to read over the AMPTP's counteroffer. At today's meeting SAG gave the AMPTP their own "comprehensive counter" and will meet again tomorrow.

3600+ actors have signed an open letter stating they'd rather stay on strike than cave to a bad deal. Signatures include Maya Hawke, Julia-Louis-Dreyfus, Bryan Cranston, Heather Langenkamp, horror actress Marianne Hagan, James Hong, Ming Na Wen, Billy Burke, John Carroll Lynch, and Marisa Tomei.

Jack Black stripped down to his underwear by crooning "Anti-Hero" by Taylor Swift. I wonder if anyone requested... that song from that movie I can't name yet?

This was day 105.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP have concluded their first day of renewed talks and will meet again tomorrow.

Today is day 103.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

SAG-AFTRA held its 2023 National Convention and elected local leaders.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP will (Deep breath) meet again and resume negotiations Tuesday. Please get your shit together. This is exhausting! Some people would like to get their careers started.

Saturday was day 100.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

As of Wednesday, SAG-AFTRA/AMPTP talks are officially dead. Read SAG'S statement here.

Monday, October 9, 2023

The WGA deal has been ratified.

SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP concluded another day of talks. They'll meet again on Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP met again today. They will meet again Friday and Monday.

SAG-AFTRA has issued a statement explaining that Saturday Night Live is under the Network Code Contract and is not being struck. Therefore, SAG members are free to appear on the show. The Network Code contract doesn't expire until June 30, 2024.

Seth Meyers, one of many returning late night hosts, just explained the "no promotion" strike rule and the "interim agreement" exception.

Monday, October 2, 2023

Late night talk show hosts including Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers and John Oliver have returned to the air now that the writers strike has ended and their deal is being ratified.

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Today is day 81 of the SAG-AFTRA strike.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed a union-back bill to provide unemployment benefits to striking workers. He says the unemployment insurance program is already on the verge of insolvency. Meanwhile, Bob Iger just made another $78,000 today.

Drew Carey recently tweeted/X'd/whatever'd about offering free meals at Bob's Big Boy and Swingers to striking workers. "But if you really want to thank someone for those meals," Carey shouted out, "thank Bruce Helford and all the Drew Carey Show writers. They helped make me rich enough to afford it. No writers, no $. Simple as that."

Late night talk shows, including Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers, will resume tomorrow now that the writers strike is over.

In addition to Taylor Swift, Beyonce is also releasing a concert film via AMC Theaters. We can safely assume Bey, a SAG-AFTRA member (as is Swift), has an interim agreement.

Friday, September 29, 2023

The International Federation of Actors (FIA) has released a statement pledging solidarity with SAG-AFTRA and will not allow AMPTP member studios to hire actors from their union (outside SAG's jurisdiction) during the strike.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

The WGA strike officially ended Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. PT / 3:01 a.m. ET.

SAG-AFTRA will resume talks on Monday.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

A tentative agreement has been reached between the WGA and the AMPTP. Read all about it here, in the WGA's own words.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

The WGA and the AMPTP met once again Saturday (this time without the Big Four CEOs present -- Bob Iger, David Zaslav, Ted Sarandos, and NBC Universal's Donna Langley). However, Carol Lombardini was present for the negotiations. The two parties will meet again on Sunday.

There will be no picketing Monday due to Yom Kippur.

Friday, September 22, 2023

The WGA and the AMPTP and studio execs (Zaslav, Iger, Sarandos, and NBCUniversal's Donna Langley) have met for the third time in as many days. They will meet again on Saturday.

Lisa Takeuchi Cullen has been re-elected WGA East President.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Meredith Stiehm has been re-elected WGA West President.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

WGA and AMPTP will reportedly restart talks next week, according to Deadline. As per The Hollywood Reporter, the guild will meet with showrunners tomorrow. The showrunners meeting was canceled upon the AMPTP news.

“You Can’t Get In The Way Of Technology” - Sony's Tony Vinciquerra, urging unions to "embrace common sense solution" on AI. No. This is extraordinarily dangerous. Technology cannot and should not be left unchecked, especially any that threatens people's jobs, livelihoods and futures. At least he admits that it's a "very complicated subject." I'll concede that this part is true:

Also very telling is this quote, where he just flat out agrees with the writers and actors anyway, but still refuses to yield to their deals:

This is textbook hypocrisy. Shame on you, Tony Vinciquerra.

As of Thursday, SAG-AFTRA has been on strike for exactly two months. Day 63 for actors and day 136 for writers. Writers have been on strike for four months and counting.

The Summer 2023 issue of SAG-AFTRA Magazine has been published and can be read online here, though zooming and scrolling might prove to be a pain in the neck.

Both unions staged a massive solidarity March on Wednesday.

Actors are auctioning themselves to support those affected by the strike. What you do mean there's no "get killed by Jason"?! But hey, at least there's signed scripts and posters from a strange show about things, Natasha Lyonne's crossword help, 20 questions with Sarah Silverman, and John Lithgow watercolor paints your pet. What do you mean there's no "Get your mugshot taken with Trump?"

Friday, September 8, 2023

Fran Drescher has been re-elected SAG-AFTRA President, and Joely Fisher Secretary-Treasurer.

Legacy studio execs have privately told the WGA that they want to make a deal, a revelation the AMPTP is now denying. Read it here in the WGA's own words.

Friday was Day 130 for writers and 57 for actors.

Monday, September 4th

Happy Labor Day! SAG-AFTRA Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland wrote a guest column for Variety in which he pushed studios to negotiate.

Meanwhile, Chris Keyser posted this great video on WGA's strike website.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

17,000 Hollywood jobs were lost in August due to the strikes.

SAG-AFTRA and WGA have both announced that they have teamed up with Worx Printing and have set up official stores for their swag merch. We're talking T-shirts, hats, tank tops, tote bags, coffee mugs and Donald Trump's mugshot.

Donald Trump mug shot.jpg

SAG-AFTRA volunteers organized in a food pantry in LA.

Friday, September 2, 2023

Writers have now been on strike for exactly four months, entering its fifth.

SAG-AFTRA will hold a strike authorization vote for Video game performers.

Friday was day 50 of the SAG-AFTRA strike and day 122 of the WGA strike.

Friday, August 18, 2023

WGA negotions update. The guild and the AMPTP will meet again "next week."

The WGA has been awarded the Humanitas Voice of Change Award. Out of respect to striking LA hotel workers, the awards were announced via The LA Times.

The picket lines proudly welcomed WAP. Get your mind out of the gutter. "Striking writers and actors are free to shake their asses and flaunt their front-facing privates," organizers said, "But that's not the WAP we're talking about. It's actually honorees of the TV Writer Access Project. I know it's less sexy, but hey, Megan Thee Stallion is expensive."

IATSE Locals 44 and 80 have picketed in solidarity for Local B-192 (a.k.a. theme park workers) at Universal. They helped strikers beat the heat with a canopy filled with drinks, coolers, and mist fans. Meanwhile the International Cinematographers Guild (IATSE Local 600) have also bene picketing in solidarity.

Latin(a/o/x/e) actors held a "Latino Actors and Writers Unite!" rally at Warner Bros. Featured were Edward James Olmos, Al Madrigal, Calderon Kellett (One Day at a Time reboot), Luisa Leschin (George Lopez, Everybody Hates Chris),

The Roseanne/Conners cast and writers reunited, including John Goodman, Sara Gilbert and Michael Fishman, and writers Bill Walker and Joel Madison. There was one notable absence, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Other than that absence, Lecey Goranson (Becky) and Ames McNamara (Darlene's son Mark) were in New York. Ironically, despite the big absence, Tom Arnold was there.

“Without the writers, we have nothing. I salute them every day,” Goodman said. “I know they’re overworked and underpaid and they deserve a bigger piece than what the studio overlords are willing to give them.”

“When [Bob Iger] says we’re striking at the wrong time, then you know it’s the right time,” Arnold said.

Monday, August 14, 2023

It has officially been one month since SAG-AFTRA went on strike. The actors are on day 32 while writers are on day 105.

WGA-covered productions filmed in the U.S. will no longer be granted SAG interim agreements.

Friday, August 11, 2023

WGA-AMPTP negotiations meeting update, straight from WGA themselves.

Having previously expressed anti-strike sentiments, Stephen Amell has relented and hit the picket lines in New York. Meanwhile, his Arrow co-stars reunited in Burbank.

The SAG-AFTRA strike has GONE NATIONAL! (See video.) The Presidents of the Producers Guild of America (not to be confused with the AMPTP [Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers], which represents the studios and streamers) have also appeared on the picket lines. The producers are not currently striking.

Recent strikers include Elliot Page, Sam Rockwell, Michael Shannon, Awkwafina, SNL alum Vanessa Bayer, Billy Crudup, Lara Flynn Boyle, Camryn Manheim, Jennifer Grey, George Lopez's wife, Wendie Malick, Patricia Clarkson, Jason George, Jack Quaid, Jason Alexander, Annette Bening, Tate Donovan, Richard Gere, Melina Kanakaredes, F. Murray Abraham, Julianna Margulies, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Bacon & Kyra Sedgwick, Sara Gilbert, Leslie Ann Warren, Jeri Ryan, and robot dog G4t0.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

The WGA and the AMPTP will officially resume negotiations tomorrow.

Internet influencers and content creators (None I've heard of yet) have signed a pledge that they will not scab during the strikes. They have set up a website called https://laboroverlikes.com/ that was launched Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

The WGA strike has reached day 100 with no end in sight. The guild calls it a "milestone of shame."

SAG has once again clarified its interim agreement.

Young Sheldon stars Iain Armitage and Wallace "Inconceivable" Shawn reunited at the picket lines. Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons have also showed up.

Boston welcomed Elizabeth Warren and Tom Bergeron. Bergeron held up a 1-cent residual with a 6-cent stamp. "They could have Venmo'd me the damn penny. They could have Larry Curly Moe'd it to me. America's Funniest Home Videos don't pay for themselves."

Thursday, July 13, 2023

SAG-AFTRA will officially strike as of noon PT today Friday.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

The Hollywood unions -- IATSE, Teamsters, Hollywood Basic Crafts, DGA, WGA East & West -- have released a joint statement in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA ahead of their imminent strike:

Monday, July 10, 2023

Here are the rules for the SAG-AFTRA strike:

  • Actors must walk away from all film and TV productions.
  • Absolutely no promotion, including social media, press junkets, photo shoots, etc.
  • Actors are allowed, but discouraged, from attending San Diego Comic-Con, provided they don't promote anything.
  • Any pre-deadline press junkets must include a disclaimer.
  • Independent productions may be exempted, so long as they follow a SAG-AFTRA interim deal and are truly independent -- i.e. no AMPTP studios, streamers, or distributors are attached.

The Writers, actors and other unions have joined together for a flash mob... and a hilarious Kenan & Kel-related picket sign.

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