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Explained | Is the Hollywood actors' strike over?

Hollywood actors on Tuesday approved a three-year contract with major studios and streamers, formally ending the six months of labor.
Last Updated 06 December 2023, 14:23 IST

Hollywood actors on Tuesday approved a three-year contract with major studios and streamers, formally ending the six months of labor disputes that had brought the industry to a standstill.

Members of the SAG-AFTRA union had already returned to work in November after a preliminary deal that offered higher pay and protections against unauthorized use of images generated by artificial intelligence (AI).

How many members voted for the deal?

The union said 78 per cent of those who voted supported the deal with Netflix, Walt Disney and other members of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

However, just 38 per cent of eligible members cast a ballot, according to the union, which represents roughly 160,000 film and TV actors.

SAG-AFTRA had called off the strike on the midnight of Nov 9, months after a separate strike by the screenwriters' union ended a $233 million-per-year deal with the studios.

What are the terms of the actors' deal?

Union leaders said the contract amounts to more than $1 billion over three years and includes guardrails around the use of AI in filmmaking, though some actors complained that the protections were not sufficient.

Under the deal, streamers will pay bonuses of roughly $40 million a year, of which 75 per cent will go to actors on the most popular streaming shows and the rest will go to a fund that will be distributed to actors on other streaming shows.

It also includes higher pay as well as pension and health benefits.

When will TV shows and movies return?

Hollywood has already resumed production on some of its delayed projects and started working on new shows since both strikes have ended.

This could mean that films like Gladiator 2 and Ghostbusters and the latest seasons of shows like Billions, Stranger Things and Abbott Elementary, which were delayed due to the walkout, can get back on track.

But viewers will have to wait a bit longer for major productions like the Mission: Impossible franchise and Disney's live-action remake of animated classic Snow White, which were delayed until 2025.

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(Published 06 December 2023, 14:23 IST)

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