Culture / Film

The strike is over – SAG-AFTRA has struck a tentative deal with studios

Is the end in sight? The SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes could be coming to a close

It took 148 days of striking for the Writers Guild of America (WGA) to reach a deal with AMPTP, ending their collective strike on September 27, 2023. And now, 118 days since the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) put down their tools, the actors guild has secured a tentative deal with the studios. As of 12:01am PT on November 9, the SAG-AFTRA strikes will officially end.⁠

While Hollywood has been haemorrhaging from the widespread industrial action, it's looking like the end might finally be in sight. Here's everything we know so far about the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes ending.


What does the strike ending mean?

Since the strikes began, most major film productions have been put on ice – an indefinite hiatus that has affected blockbuster films and TV shows like the Dune: Part Two, and Paul Mescal's Gladiator sequel.

Reaching and voting-in a deal will mean that American screenwriters and actors will be allowed back on film sets, and that film productions, premieres and press can take place as usual again.


Why did SAG-AFTRA and WGA go on strike?

You can read our article about why the WGA went on strike, but you might be wondering why the SAG-AFTRA members also threw in the towel – walking off sets and bailing on major red carpet premieres.

While bonafide film stars certainly rake in a decent salary for their time, the majority of SAG-AFTRA actors do not – 95% of SAG-AFTRA members earn less than $25,000 per year at the moment, which means that they fall below the annual income that helps their union provide them with basic needs like health insurance in the US.

Before most television aired on streaming services, network television stations used to pay actors residual paychecks every time the show aired. The switch to streaming services meant that actors now see none of that additional money. There have also been concerns about the use of AI-generated likenesses used on-screen in later projects without their consent.


Are there any details about the deal?

The SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee has managed to strike a deal that, at first glance, appears more in line with demands than it did mere days ago when studios came to the table with their final offer.

Minimums will increase by 7%, along with "unprecedented provisions for consent and compensation that will protect members from the threat of AI, and for the first time establishes a streaming participation bonus," according to actors guild.⁠

The actors guild has also managed to secure a rise in pension and health caps, in addition to "outsize compensation increases for background performers, and critical contract provisions protecting diverse communities".

However, we'll have to wait for the tentative agreement to be reviewed by the SAG-AFTRA National Board, before the full details of the billion dollar contract will be revealed.⁠

SAG-AFTRA have thanked its members for the sacrifices they've made since mid-July when they joined the picket lines, with a special mention to the solidarity shown by WGA.⁠


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Images via @sagaftra