Fran Drescher Leads Impending Hollywood Actors’ Strike: A Notable Event in the Making

**Hollywood Actors on the Verge of Joint Strike with Screenwriters**
Hollywood actors may soon join screenwriters in a historic two-union strike, which could have significant repercussions for the film and television industry. Here’s a closer look at the ongoing negotiations and why a strike is looming.

**Negotiations update for Actors**
The contract between the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the studios, streaming services, and production companies employing actors was set to expire on Friday night. However, an extension was agreed upon by both parties, with talks continuing until July 12. Unionized actors have already voted in favor of authorizing a strike should negotiations fail. While reports indicate productive discussions, some actors, including Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence, express concerns that their leaders are not pushing hard enough. Over 1,000 actors have signed a letter expressing their readiness to strike and their concerns about leadership’s approach. It’s important to note that the strike would only affect actors working on films and television shows.

**Desire for Change among Actors**
The issues raised by actors mirror those faced by screenwriters, such as diminished compensation resulting from the rise of streaming platforms. In the new streaming ecosystem, royalty payments are no longer linked to the popularity of a film or TV show, making it difficult for actors to earn fair compensation. Additionally, shorter seasons and longer gaps between productions have led to fewer job opportunities. Actors, like writers, are also concerned about the unregulated use of artificial intelligence, which could potentially replace them in the future. Self-taped auditions are another challenge for actors, as they now bear the cost of these auditions themselves.

**Historical Perspective: Previous Strikes**
While actors experienced a three-month strike in 1980, their labor issues have been relatively fewer compared to screenwriters. Two major unions in Hollywood, the actors’ union and the writers’ union, walked off the job simultaneously during a five-month writers’ strike in 1960. Since then, actors have consistently shown solidarity with striking writers through symbolic gestures, such as joining them on picket lines.

**Impact of Combined Strikes on Viewers**
The ongoing writers’ strike has already had a significant impact on late-night talk shows and scripted television series. Late-night network talk shows, including “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” immediately went on hiatus. Other shows, such as “Saturday Night Live” and various television series, have also been forced to shut down production. If actors were to join the strike, the shutdown would extend to nearly all other ongoing productions. This would lead to delays in forthcoming TV show seasons and movie releases. While streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video may not show immediate differences in their menus, original series enthusiasts would eventually have to wait longer for their favorite shows to return. However, productions outside the United States and reality shows, game shows, and most daytime talk shows would likely be unaffected. The Emmy Awards’ fate remains uncertain, as the nominations are scheduled to be announced on July 12, right in the middle of the ongoing negotiations.

**Current State of Writer’s Strike**
The writers’ strike has continued for two months, with persistent picketing and large-scale rallies. Unfortunately, there have been no ongoing negotiations between the striking writers and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents the studios, streamers, and production companies. The writers’ primary concern revolves around the shrinking staff on shows, which they refer to as “mini-rooms.” These smaller teams result in less work and fewer guarantees of future employment. The AMPTP argues that the writers’ demands would require them to be kept on staff and paid even when there is no work available. The two sides were so far apart during negotiations that talks broke off just hours before the contract expired. Whether the actors’ negotiations will yield a different outcome in the coming days remains to be seen.

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