Hollywood actors union asks members to give permission for possible strike

Hollywood actors union asks members to give permission for possible strike


By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES, May 18 (Reuters) – The board of Hollywood’s actors’ union asked members on Thursday to give negotiators the power to call a strike, a move that would add new pressure to major studios already facing a writers’ strike. have to do.

The actors’ union SAG-AFTRA set a June 5 deadline for its 160,000 members to vote for a strike authorization. If the measure is approved, union leaders could declare a work stoppage if they cannot reach a new contract agreement with major Hollywood studios.

The writers’ strike has disrupted production on night shows and some TV series, but some shooting continues. A strike by actors would lead to a wider shutdown of the entire industry.

About 11,500 Writers Guild of America members went on strike on May 2 after the union failed to reach a deal with Walt Disney Co, Netflix Inc and other media companies for higher wages and safeguards around the use of artificial intelligence in the streaming TV era.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) said it was offering “generous” compensation increases.

For Hollywood actors, pay and AI are also on the list of concerns.

“Making a living as a professional artist has become increasingly difficult, with both inflation and the streaming ecosystem undermining compensation,” SAG-AFTRA said in a statement on its website.

Negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the studios will begin on June 7. The actors’ current contract expires on June 30.

“The prospect of a strike is not a first option, but a last resort,” said SAG-AFTRA president and “The Nanny” actor Fran Drescher. “As my father always says, ‘Better to have and not need than to need and not have!'”

An AMPTP representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Lisa Richwine; editing by Cynthia Osterman)