It's official: after failing to come to a new deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, SAG-AFTRA the union that represents actors and other performers in the United States, has officially called a strike, the first time since 1960 that both the actors and writers guilds (the latter of which walked out in May) have been on strike together.
At the heart of the issue are two major points –– compensation and the use of AI. With residual payments shrinking thanks to shorter runs of shows and "creative" accounting by studios, actors have found it harder and harder to make a living under the level of the big, A-list types.
And as for AI, a particularly insulting part of the AMPTP's offer was for background performers to have their likenesses scanned, for them to be paid for one day's work but for the companies to own their image in perpetuity.
“SAG-AFTRA negotiated in good faith and was eager to reach a deal that sufficiently addressed performer needs, but the AMPTP’s responses to the union’s most important proposals have been insulting and disrespectful of our massive contributions to this industry," said SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher. "The companies have refused to meaningfully engage on some topics and on others completely stonewalled us. Until they do negotiate in good faith, we cannot begin to reach a deal. We have no choice but to move forward in unity, and on behalf of our membership, with a strike recommendation to our National Board. The board will discuss the issue this morning and will make its decision.”
The strike won't directly affect shows shot in the UK yet, as the actors' union here, Equity will support the strike but cannot legally endorse its members striking without consequence. So the likes of House Of The Dragon will keep filming.
For more on what this all means, head to our explainer.