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Hollywood actors reach deal with studios to end strike

November 9, 2023

The deal will ensure actors receive a pay increase. It also includes provisions for consent and compensation around the use of AI to clone actors' likenesses.

Hollywood actors with picket signs in Los Angeles
Hollywood actors were on strike for 118 daysImage: Ringo Chiu/ZUMAPRESS/picture alliance

Hollywood actors agreed to call off a months-long strike after they reached a tentative deal with studios on Wednesday.

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) called off its 118-day strike from midnight after finally reaching an agreement with the likes of Disney and Netflix.

"We have arrived at a contract that will enable SAG-AFTRA members from every category to build sustainable careers," the union said.

The new three-year contract is valued at more than $1 billion (€934 million) and received support from the union's leadership.

SAG-AFTRA President and "The Nanny" star Fran Drescher wrote on Instagram: "We did it!!!! The Billion+ $ Deal!"

The deal still needs to be ratified by the union's board and members, but it is widely expected to pass.

What does the Hollywood actors' deal entail?

The minimum pay for actors is set to increase by around 8% compared to the previous contract.

This was a compromise for both sides because it was less than the actors original wanted but more than what the writers obtained after their strike.

The tentative deal also includes a new "streaming participation" bonus. The rise of such platforms, which typically pay minimal "residuals" when a show gets rewatched, had severely eroded actors' incomes.

Actors had also expressed concerns about studios using AI to clone their likenesses or voices. The deal is expected to include provisions for consent and compensation regarding the use of AI.

Actors and crews back to work

The strike cost California more than $6 billion (€5.6 billion) in lost output, according to the Milken Institute.

It also affected other workers in the film industry, with prop masters, costume designers and other crew members unable to find work.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass welcomed the "fair agreement" that was reached on Wednesday, noting that the strikes had "impacted millions in Los Angeles and throughout the country."

"Now, we must lean in on local production to ensure that our entertainment industry rebounds stronger than ever and our economy is able to get back on its feet," she said in a statement.

zc/lo (Reuters, AFP)