Los Angeles, July 13 (AFP/APP): The union representing Hollywood actors said Thursday that crunch talks with studios to avert a major industry shutdown had ended without a deal, paving the way for a vote on the first actors strike in more than four decades.
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA), which represents 160,000 performers including A-list stars, said last-ditch talks had failed to resolve their demands over dwindling pay and the threat posed by artificial intelligence.
The union’s negotiators had unanimously recommended a strike to its national committee, which was set to vote Thursday morning on whether to carry out industrial action, it said in a statement.
A “double strike” of actors and writers, not seen in Hollywood since 1960, would bring nearly all US film and television productions to a halt.
Popular series set to return to television this year would face lengthy delays. And, if strikes continue, future blockbuster films would be postponed too.
Actors are demanding better pay, and protections against the future use of AI in television and films.
“We are deeply disappointed that SAG-AFTRA has decided to walk away from negotiations. This is the Union’s choice, not ours,” the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said in a statement early Thursday.
Hollywood studios had called in federal mediators to help resolve the deadlock — a last-minute move described by SAG-AFTRA as a “cynical ploy.”
SAG-AFTRA represents A-list stars such as Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Glenn Close and all members have pre-approved industrial action if a deal is not struck.