July 12-13 midnight PST is the deadline for the contract between the United States Actors Alliance (SAG-AFTRA) and the Motion Picture and Television Producers Alliance (AMPTP). If SAG-AFTRA and the Producers Alliance do not conclude a new agreement or renew the current one before this time, then the actors will go on strike.
SAG-AFTRA and the Producers Alliance have been discussing the terms of a new contract for several months now. The SAG-AFTRA calls for a more equitable distribution of profits and regulation of the use of artificial intelligence in the film and television industry. This is due to the serious loss of income due to streaming platforms. Representatives of the Producers Alliance have not publicly commented on the guild's demands.
Late Tuesday, SAG-AFTRA negotiators agreed to the studio's request for a federal mediator. However, the union said that the studio's representatives had "abused our trust" by leaking information to the media, and did not deviate from the deadline set for Wednesday evening.
The actors' strike will effectively bring the film and television industries to a halt. World-class stars such as Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep have said they are ready to leave their jobs. Unions are fighting Netflix, Walt Disney and others over base pay and residual pay from streaming services, as well as other issues, including the use of generative artificial intelligence. Actors want assurances that their digital images will not be used without their permission.
If the strike starts, the members of SAG-AFTRA, numbering more than 160,000 people, will be prohibited from participating in the filming of films or series, as well as promoting them on their social networks, at premieres and exhibitions.
If the Screeners Guild goes on strike, then the American film and television industry will effectively stop working. Since the beginning of May, the Screenwriters Guild has been on strike in the USA: work on new projects has been stopped, but the shooting of films and series with ready-made scripts has continued. It brought multimillion-dollar losses to studios, many projects were stopped, and the shooting of many films and series was frozen. Then the writers similarly demanded the signing of a new contract with the Producers Guild, the strike ended only when it was signed. The current strike began immediately after the expiration of that contract - it ended on May 1, 2023. By now, it has already led to endless reruns of late-night TV talk shows and has disrupted much of the production of the fall TV season and filming of some big-budget films.