The Actors Strike 2023: All You Need To Know About The Actors Strike 2023

  • November 16, 2023
  • 7 min read
The Actors Strike 2023: All You Need To Know About The Actors Strike 2023

The Actors Strike 2023: What is SAG-AFTRA

Recently, the word ‘SAG-AFTRA’ has been brought up immensely due to the Actors Strike 2023. Loads are questioning, “What even is SAG-AFTRA?” SAG-AFTRA is a union that represents actors, performers, broadcasters, and other media professionals in the entertainment industry. It stands for Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. SAG-AFTRA is an organization that looks out for the rights and interests of people who work in movies, television shows, commercials, radio, and other forms of media. Essentially, it’s a big support system or a team that actors and media professionals join to make sure they are treated fairly and have certain protections while working.

Being a part of SAG-AFTRA means individuals have a collective voice – they can negotiate better pay, safer working conditions, and benefits like health insurance and retirement plans. This union helps set minimum standards for wages, working hours, and other important aspects of the job, making sure that its members are taken care of and not taken advantage of by the companies they work for. Joining SAG-AFTRA also gives actors and media professionals access to various resources like workshops, training programs, and networking events, which can help them improve their skills and connect with others in the industry. Overall, it serves as a powerful advocate for the rights and well-being of those who work in the entertainment and media fields, ensuring they’re treated fairly and have the support they need throughout their careers. 

The Actors Strike 2023: What Does SAG-AFTRA Have To Do With The Actors Strike 2023?

SAG-AFTRA, as we now know, is the union representing actors and media professionals. SAG-AFTRA will sometimes go on strike as a way to stand up for better working conditions, fair wages, and improved benefits. The Actors Strike 2023 consists of not just actors, but all SAG-AFTRA members. The strike is a collective decision made by the SAG-AFTRA members to stop working for a while to make a statement and request for fair treatment, pay, opportunities, and more. When SAG-AFTRA members feel that their needs aren’t being met or that the companies they work for aren’t treating them fairly, they might go on strike as a way to negotiate and push for better terms.

During a strike, actors and media professionals stop working on projects like movies, TV shows, or commercials. This might seem tough because they’re not getting paid during this time, but it’s a way to show the companies how important their work is and how much they need fair treatment. Strikes are a way for these workers to put pressure on the companies to listen to their concerns and come to a better agreement that benefits everyone involved. Striking is the big pause button that gets attention from the media, which is why we know of the Actors Strike 2023 and why there’s a big fuss about it. It’s a way for the union members to let others know that they are not being treated fairly, and that they will basically not work until a fair agreement has been made. Strikes are a last resort when negotiations between the union and the companies reach a point where the workers feel they have to take action to get a fair deal. Ultimately, the goal of a strike is to reach a new agreement that addresses the concerns of the workers and ensures they’re treated fairly in their jobs.

The Actors Strike 2023: Have There Been Sag-Aftra Strikes In The Past?

The Actors Strike 2023 is not something foreign to the industry at all. The union representing actors and media professionals, has had several strikes throughout its history. One of the most notable strikes occurred in 2000 when the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) went on strike against advertising agencies. This strike was about improving pay rates for commercials and addressing issues like compensation for commercials shown on the internet. It lasted for six months and significantly impacted the production of new commercials. Another significant strike happened in 2007-2008, primarily by the Writers Guild of America (WGA), but SAG also supported it.

This strike was mainly about fair compensation for writers in the rapidly evolving landscape of digital media and new platforms like streaming services. Although this strike was led by the writers, SAG-AFTRA members showed solidarity by supporting the cause and participating in picket lines alongside the writers. Additionally, SAG-AFTRA has had instances of smaller strikes, work stoppages, or specific contract disputes over the years, often related to negotiations for better wages, working conditions, healthcare, or pension benefits. Strikes are generally considered a last resort and are used when negotiations between the union and the entertainment industry employers reach an impasse, and the union feels it necessary to use this tactic to leverage better terms for its members. The number of strikes and their specific details can change based on the industry’s evolving landscape and the ongoing negotiations between the union and the companies they work for.

The Actors Strike 2023: Why Are SAG-AFTRA Members Striking?

The major issue the union held was that they weren’t being paid enough money for the loads of incredible work that we all know they do, especially the extra payments called residuals. These are extra payments actors get when their work is used over and over again, like when a movie or show is shown again on TV or released on DVD. The problem was that when their work appeared on streaming sites, like Netflix, Hulu, etc., they were paid a lot less and in an entirely different way than before. SAG-AFTRA members were also incredibly worried about how artificial intelligence might use their faces or work without paying them fairly. As we know, artificial intelligence has been a big topic recently. A big question about artificial intelligence is whether or not it can take over people’s jobs, which is another thing the writers were concerned about. Before the entire SAG-AFTRA strike, however, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) went on strike due to unfair pay, which is what caused the snowball effect of the entirety of SAG-AFTRA also striking in alliance with them. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) went on strike for nearly five months, starting on the 2nd of May in 2023. This group is made up of two unions representing writers in different areas like movies, TV, news, radio, and online content. They wanted the same things as SAG-AFTRA – better pay, nicer work conditions, and fair contracts about using artificial intelligence. On the 18th of April in 2023 practically all (97.85% to be exact) of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) members agreed to strike if they couldn’t reach a good deal with the major Hollywood movie and TV studios, represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), before the 1st of May in 2023. At the same time, actors and others in SAG-AFTRA were also pushing for better pay, nicer working conditions, and rules in contracts about using artificial intelligence. This strike caused a lot of projects such as movies and TV shows to halt production. Shows like ‘Stranger Things’, ‘Saturday Night Live’, ‘Euphoria’, and a whole lot of Late-Night Shows stopped producing because of the Actors Strike 2023. 

The Actors Strike Update 2023: When Will The Actors Strike End? The looming question seems to be this, “When will the actors strike end?” Well, there’s an actors strike update 2023 for you! The actors’ strike 2023 is now over! The actors’ strike 2023 allowed for the SAG-AFTRA to finally come to an agreement with all the major Hollywood studios. This recent actors strike update 2023 has certainly brought joy to a lot of faces due to the fact that now all the shows and movies that weren’t being filmed can now go ahead, and the promotions of these projects have begun as well! However, the major part is that now SAG-AFTRA members are being treated fairly and compensated in accordance with their talent and brilliant work!

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Anoushay Zaidi

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