Art & Entertainment

Hollywood Actors Join Writers In Strike Over Pay Cuts And AI Threat

SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) has joined hands with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) in the first industry-wide walkout in 63 years over pay cuts and AI threat.

Hollywood actors-writers' strike
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SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) has joined hands with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) in the first industry-wide walkout in 63 years over pay cuts and AI threat. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) announced the walkout and it represents some 160,000 performers. The walkout was announced after it failed to reach a new labour agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, which represents big studios like Walt Disney Co. and Netflix Inc.

This is the first time that the two unions have been on strike simultaneously since 1960 when actor (and future US president) Ronald Reagan led the protests. Well, writers have already spent 11 weeks protesting outside Disney and Netflix's headquarters, as their demands were not met. The actors cannot star in movies or even promote the films that they have already made till the strike lasts. Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Bob Odenkirk, Cynthia Nixon, Kumail Nanjiani, Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Ben Stiller, Colin Farrell and Jamie Lee Curtis among others have backed the strike. 

On Thursday night, Cillian Murphy, Matt Damon and Emily Blunt left the premiere of Christopher Nolan's 'Oppenheimer' in London. Nolan said that he supported them in their struggle.

As per reports, picketing will begin on Friday morning outside the California headquarters of Netflix and then moving to the headquarters of Paramount, Warner Bros and Disney.

For the unversed, these big studios have offered a proposal that they would protect the "digital likeness of actors and require their consent when digital replicas are used in performances, or alterations are made". But the union rejected the offer and SAG's national executive director and chief negotiator, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland called it "unacceptable".

On Thursday, Disney CEO Bob Iger told CNBC the expectations of the actors and the writers were “not realistic,"  and he called their decision to strike “very disturbing." The writer, director and producer of 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse', Phil Lord tweeted, “AMPTP has played hardball instead of helping to solve entirely solvable problems that endanger writers and actors on the lower ends of the pay scale".

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