Entertainment - Media News Watch originally published at Entertainment - Media News Watch

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Union rally held in Los Angeles as part of the 2023 Writers’ Strike

The SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee has voted unanimously to recommend a strike, sending a shudder through Hollywood after extended contract negotiations failed to produce a breakthrough prior to Wednesday’s midnight deadline.

SAG-AFTRA’s National Board will vote Thursday morning (July 13) on whether to strike. The result will be announced at a press conference on Thursday at 12pm PT.

The development comes after the Guild and studio negotiating body Alliance Of Motion Picture And Television Producers (AMPTP) extended talks through July 12 in an effort to see eye-to-eye over the actors’ demands for increased compensation, streamer residuals, and regulation of artificial intelligence.

The parties even brought in a federal mediator for the final day of talks however it proved to be fruitless. Hours before the deadline expiry the Teamsters, IATSE, Writers Guild Of America (WGA), and Directors Guild Of America (DGA) issued a joint statement in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA.

Union president Fran Drescher said in a statement: “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. The companies have refused meaningful engagement on some topics, and on others they have completely stonewalled us. We cannot reach an agreement until they negotiate in good faith. We cannot do anything but move forward, in unity and on behalf our members, with a recommendation for a strike to our National Board. The board will discuss this issue today and make its decision.” It is not our choice. This is a decision made by the Union. SAG-AFTRA has chosen to strike rather than continue negotiations. This will cause financial hardship for thousands of people who depend on the industry for their livelihoods. Rather than continuing to negotiate, SAG-AFTRA has put us on a course that will deepen the financial hardship for thousands who depend on the industry for their livelihoods.”

Production shutdown

The Guild’s 160,000 members could go on strike this week, bringing further gloom to a production sector that has already been impacted by the writers strike which is now in its 11th week.

Hollywood companies have been cautious in recent months, wrapping production early or pausing starts on titles including Marvel’s


starring Mahershala Ali and Mia Goth, Thunderbolts with Harrison Ford and Florence Pugh, and independent production TheIsland with Joaquin Phoenix, as well as most scripted television shows.A double strike involving actors – the last time striking actors and writers joined the picket lines was in 1960 when Ronald Reagan led the Screen Actors Guild – could bring Hollywood to its knees.Until now features with locked scripts were able to proceed with Guild actors. The majority of Hollywood productions in the US and around the world that feature SAG-AFTRA talent will no longer have the option to use Guild actors. SAG-AFTRA is understood to be preparing waivers for truly independent feature productions, although qualifying projects cannot involve any struck company.

SAG-AFTRA is understood to be preparing waivers for truly independent feature productions, although qualifying projects cannot involve any struck company, even if a struck company acquired territory distribution rights on a project.

While nobody knows how long the strikes will last, many producers and executives expect two striking Guilds will embolden one another and the work stoppage could run for at least another couple of months.

They are putting contingency plans into place and exploring postponements, which in turn will impact the release schedule at a time when box office observers are willing theatrical releases to perform well after the devastating pandemic.

Last month Disney announced a major schedule overhaul as it pushed back tentpoles including the upcoming


instalments and Marvel Studios projects like Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars.Talent will also be forbidden from promoting upcoming film and television launches which would include interviews with press as well as interviews for production notes and electronic press kits.Warner Bros scheduled its


promotional world tour with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling early, ahead of the tentpole’s July 21 release. However Universal executives will be scrambling ahead of Thursday’s Oppenheimer premiere in London and the July 17 premiere in New York. The Paris event was held on Tuesday, and studio executives are closely monitoring the situation. Like Barbie, Oppenheimer opens on July 21.Paramount/Skydance’s Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning

,Part One has done the heavy lifting in its promotional work. The actors strike is likely to impact global film and TV events in the near future. Hollywood’s presence at Comic-Con was already compromised by the strike when Marvel, Universal, Netflix and Sony Pictures decided not to send talent to the revered Hall H presentations.Fall festival heads at Venice Film Festival (August 30-September 9), Telluride (September 1-4) and Toronto International Film Festival (September 7-17), are monitoring the situation closely and know their events thrive on the attendance of A-listers. The 75th Primetime Emmy Awards set for September 18 may well get pushed back.Directors Guild Of America averted a strike last month when it signed a new three-year contract with AMPTP.

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Entertainment - Media News Watch originally published at Entertainment - Media News Watch