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1 month ago

Longest-ever Hollywood strike ends

Longest-ever Hollywood strike ends

The film and TV industry had ground to a standstill throughout the 118-day dispute between actors and movie studios

Hollywood actors are set to end a near-four-month strike after a labor union representing them agreed a “tentative deal” with movie studios, bringing to a close the longest work stoppage in its history.

The actors’ union SAG-AFTRA voted unanimously to end the 118-day strike on Wednesday following the latest round of deliberations with the Alliance of Motion Pictures and TV Producers (AMPTP). The dispute, coupled with a separate months-long writers’ strike that ended in late September, had caused major disruption to the lucrative film and television industry in the US for the past several months.

The union had been seeking various assurances for its members, including better pay and safeguards against the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

In a statement, SAG-AFTRA said the deal agreed with studios was of “extraordinary scope” and is “valued at over $1 billion.” It added that the strike would end at 12.01am US Pacific time on Thursday and that all picket lines would cease.

“We have arrived at a contract that will enable SAG-AFTRA members from every category to build sustainable careers, many thousands of performers now and into the future will benefit from this work,” the union said.

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The AMPTP added separately that the agreement “represents a new paradigm” in the lucrative industry, and that the deal includes “the largest increase in minimum wages in the last 40 years,” as well as financial guarantees for streaming programs from Netflix and other media companies. The full details of the agreement are expected to be announced on Friday.

With the deadlock broken, Hollywood studios can restart full production for the first time since May once the deal is formally ratified by a member vote in the coming weeks.

The SAG-AFTRA strike began in July and was backed by several of the industry’s most prominent names. Actor George Clooney called the action “an inflection point in our industry,” and said the work stoppage had been necessary for Hollywood “to survive.”

Mayor of Los Angeles Karen Bass welcomed what she said was a “fair agreement,” adding that the deal would have a significant impact on the local economy.

“Today’s tentative agreement is going to impact nearly every part of our economy,” she said. “Now we must lean on local production to ensure that our entertainment industry rebounds stronger than ever and our economy is able to get back on its feet.”

California’s film and TV production industry supports more than 700,000 jobs and provides almost $70 billion in annual wages for its in-state workers, according to the California Film Commission.