Hollywood is one step closer to returning to work.
SAG-AFTRA will resume Monday negotiations with major entertainment studios. The union represents tens and thousands of actors in film and television who have been striking since July. A number of studio executives are expected to attend.
The announcement was made on Wednesday, one day after the Writers Guild of America leadership had voted to end the 148-day studio strike. The union membership will now ratify the tentative contract, and writers returned to work on Tuesday.
This flurry is a welcome respite for an industry that was hampered for months by dual strikes. It was the first strike by both actors and writers since 1960. The production of TV and movies has been essentially shut down. Fall prime-time television and film releases have also been rearranged.
While late-night programs like "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" and "The Daily Show" have announced their return in the near future, no new scripted TV or film productions can start without a resolution of the actors' strikes. The summer 2024 moviegoing season could also be at risk if the strike continues.
In May, the writers began a strike. SAG-AFTRA which represents over 150,000 performers joined the strike on July 14. Since 76 days, there have not been any talks between the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the actors' union, who bargain on behalf of studios.
The writers' tentative contract could be a model for actors. The actors, like the writers, have sought to set up guardrails for artificial intelligence as well as increased residuals.
The tentative contract for writers guarantees that artificial-intelligence technology will not affect writers' compensation and credits. Studios cannot use A.I. Tools to rewrite the original material are not available. Studios can use scripts from TV and film to improve A.I. Tools and experiment.
A.I. A.I. could be used to create digital copies of actors' likenesses, without payment or approval.
For the first time ever, the writers' contract ensures a bonus based on the percentage of subscribers who watch the shows. The actors asked for a revenue-sharing deal with subscribers, which was a no-go for studios.
The actors asked for an 11 percent increase in the first contract year. Studio executives last offered a raise of 5 percent.