A Second Strike Looms in the Entertainment Industry
A second strike within the entertainment industry is set to launch if the negotiation deadline of Friday at midnight is not met.
The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists had intended to reach an agreement with Amazon/MGM, Apple, NBCUniversal, Disney/ABC/Fox, Netflix, Paramount/CBS, Sony, and Warner Bros. by midnight on June 30, when its previous contracts expire. Negotiations began June 7 and were preceded by an over 97% vote to strike by the 160,000 SAG-AFTRA members if a new contract isn’t established.
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Chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland issued a statement on June 24 alongside SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher to promise that they have been “fighting hard” on behalf of members. Both groups have engaged in a media blackout until the deadline, so the statement was made via an unlisted YouTube video for its members.
“I just want to assure you that we are having extremely productive negotiations that are laser-focused on all the crucial issues you told us are important to you,” Drescher says in the video. “And we’re standing strong, and we’re going to achieve a seminal deal.”
“But we have a very narrow window of time remaining before our contract expires,” Crabtree-Ireland said. “And we remain optimistic that we will be able to bring the studios, networks, and streamers along to make a fair deal that respects your contribution to this industry.”
Meanwhile, the Writers Guild for America was on strike for its ninth week in what included some 11,500 writers. WGA has come to a head with the same group of studios, networks, and streamers over higher wages. As a result, television shows and films have been put on pause. A strike on the part of the performers would affect even more projects that are already in production.
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The last time both WGA and SAG-AFTRA were simultaneously on strike was in 1960, with Ronald Reagan at the helm before he ran for president.
SAG-AFTRA offices will be closed Monday and Tuesday for the holiday, suggesting that Crabtree-Ireland and his team would not return to the negotiating table until later next week.
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