BY: Liliana Rocio, Senior Editor, Paramount Offices NYC 9/09/23
Striking WGA (Writers Guild of America) members picket with striking SAG-AFTRA members outside Paramount Offices on Sept. 2023, in Manhattan, New York.
The Writers Guild of America and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) are reportedly meeting for a third straight day today in a new round of contract talks in the nearly five-month-long writers’ strike.
A person carries a WGA sign as striking WGA (Writers Guild of America) members picket with striking SAG-AFTRA members outside Paramount Offices in Sept., 2023, in New York, New York.
The WGA went on strike May 2, with the work stoppage reaching its 145th day on Saturday, putting it within two weeks of the longest strike in the union’s history, which lasted 154 days in 1988. Many productions had halted even before SAG-AFTRA joined the WGA on strike July 14.
The 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike is an ongoing strike action that began on July 14, 2023. The American actors’ union SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) went on strike over an ongoing labor dispute with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
It has coincided with a Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike that began in May in a series of broader Hollywood labor disputes.
The strike marks the first time that actors have initiated a labor dispute in the U.S. since the 1980 actors strike and the first time that actors and writers have walked out simultaneously since 1960.
Both the 2023 SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes have contributed to the biggest interruption to the American film and television industries since the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
In addition to standing in solidarity with the writers, the strike is led by changes in the industry caused by streaming and its effect on residuals, as well as other new technologies like AI and digital recreation.
We had the Pleasure of Speaking of Joe, who has been a writer for TV, for many years and he went on to tell us, he is well behind his rent and his credit card is maxed out and he lives in a studio in New York city and if the Strike does not end soon, he will move out of New York and look for another job.
The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is a labor union that represents approximately 160,000 media professionals and entertainers.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) trade association represents film and television studios in collective bargaining negotiations with unions such as SAG-AFTRA, the Directors Guild of America (DGA), and Writers Guild of America, East and Writers Guild of America West, comprising the Writers Guild of America (WGA).
SAG-AFTRA was formed by the merger of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) in March 2012, allowing SAG-AFTRA to represent not only actors, but also journalists, talk show hosts, and other broadcast workers.
The WGA and the Screen Actors Guild have not simultaneously been on strike since 1960, when actors joined striking writers over residual payments from films sold to television networks.
The 1980 actors strike involved the combined efforts of SAG and AFTRA. The largest SAG-AFTRA strike since 1980 occurred in 2000, in which commercial actors went on strike to push for a continuation of the residual system against advertiser backlash, amidst the divisions between SAG and AFTRA.
Let’s hope there is a solution for both parties and a new contract can be negotiated, so people can go on with their life’s.