The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists said members of the union’s negotiating committee approved the tentative deal in a unanimous vote, “bringing an end to the 118-day strike,” the union said in a statement. “The strike officially ends at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, November 9.”
Details of what the actors won in the deal will be released Friday, when the union’s national board is slated to vote on it. It’s expected to include historic new provisions such as increased payments for the success of streaming shows, as well as protections around the use of artificial intelligence and actors’ digital likenesses.
“We have arrived at a contract that will enable SAG-AFTRA members from every category to build sustainable careers,” the union said. “Many thousands of performers now and into the future will benefit from this work.”
The deal will mean actors can soon return to work, pending union members’ approval of the agreement. Production on new shows and movies will be able to resume, ending the standstill on most film and TV production across the country over the last few months.
There had been hopes that actors were close to a deal in early October, after studio executives reached a different but related deal in late September with film and TV members of the Writers Guild of America, who had been on strike for nearly five months. The writers won many groundbreaking new provisions, including higher wages, streaming residuals, more transparency around streaming profits and viewership, as well as guardrails around the use of artificial intelligence. (HuffPost’s unionized staff are members of the WGA East, but covered by a different contract.)
Like the writers, the actors framed the strike as an existential fight, showing how the streaming era has worsened inequities in Hollywood and endangered the livelihood of actors, the vast majority of whom live paycheck to paycheck. Both strikes have exposed systemic issues in the industry, including the huge wealth gap between entertainment workers and the studio executives who have disproportionately profited from their work.
While writers and actors went on strike over many of the same issues, there are also issues specific to actors. Among them is actors calling on companies to limit the practice of actors having to pay to do their own self-recorded auditions, which has accelerated in recent years due to the pandemic.
Both unions benefited from each other’s support, often picketing studios and company headquarters together. The twin labor stoppages and solidarity from other entertainment worker unions halted nearly all film and TV production, sending executives a clear message.
When announcing the tentative deal Wednesday, SAG-AFTRA thanked “our union siblings — the workers that power this industry — for the sacrifices they have made while supporting our strike and that of the Writers Guild of America. We stand together in solidarity and will be there for you when you need us.”
Both strikes also came at a major turning point for workers and labor unions in many industries. From Starbucks workers to auto workers, many kinds of workers across America have joined together to call out stagnant wages and corporate greed.
This content was originally published here.