After 118 days, the SAG-AFTRA strike has come to an end. Negotiators for the union that represents film and TV actors have approved a tentative agreement with major studios in a unanimous vote. With this, productions big and small around the country will be able to resume.
Among the wins made by SAG-AFTRA are the first-ever protections for actors against AI, one of the most contested topics among all kinds of media. Fran Drescher, president of SAG-AFTRA, spoke about how rapidly things change with this technology. “With AI, things move very fast, and three months is equivalent to a year in how things can change. So, if we didn’t close that up now then you’ll be so far behind you’ll never be able to catch up,” she told Deadline. Drescher hopes that these protections, such as compensation for the reuse of AI scans, can support actors until a new contract is negotiated in 2026.
“AI was existential for our members,” added chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland. “And if we didn’t have the right protections, we weren’t going to be able to make a deal. So, I think they ultimately believed that, understood that, and they did what they had to do to give us those assurances.”
Additionally, the union also won a historic pay increase, which will see a raise of 7% in most minimums. Actors will also be getting a streaming participation bonus, as well as new health and pension caps, and diversity guardrails. However, the details won't be fully disclosed until the national board of over 160,000 members votes on Friday.
“People need know that just strike was not about celebrities per se, this strike was about working actors,” said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland. “This strike was about people who are trying to make a middle class living, and I think when the whole deal is put out in the public and people have all the different pieces of it, they will see that there is an overall commitment to improving the economic viability of a career as an actor in this business. And that’s really good for all of us.”
After 118 days, the SAG-AFTRA strike has come to an end. With this, productions big and small around the country will be able to resume.