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Actors and Studios Agree to Deal

A young man holding a camera and giving a thumbs up.

​Hollywood actors have reached a tentative deal with major studios to end a historically long strike.

On Nov. 8, the Screen Actors Guild–American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), which represents about 160,000 actors and entertainers, announced a tentative deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents about 350 television and film production companies, including Paramount, Sony, Universal, Disney, Warner Bros, Netflix, Apple Studios and Amazon Studios.

We've collected a group of stories on the news from SHRM Online and other trusted sources.

Deal Provides Higher Pay and AI Protections

The deal concludes one of the longest and most disruptive strikes in Hollywood's history that brought the industry to a standstill. The strike had shut down production across the industry for nearly four months and raised existential questions over the future of the entertainment business.

The deal still needs to be ratified by the union's members before it can take effect. The union said the deal includes significant increases in pay minimums, AI protections and a streaming participation bonus, along with better benefits.

The studios said actors will get "the biggest contract-on-contract gains in the history of the union, including the largest increase in minimum wages in the last 40 years; a brand-new residual for streaming programs; extensive consent and compensation protections in the use of artificial intelligence; and sizable contract increases on items across the board."

Earlier this year, screenwriters went on strike for 148 days. The writers' contract, which will expire in May 2026, includes pay increases, better benefits, protections against the studios' use of artificial intelligence, guarantees for streaming compensation, longer-duration employment terms and other perks.

SAG-AFTRA's demands were similar to the writers' union's demands, particularly regarding artificial intelligence and residuals payments from streaming services for their work.

The two Hollywood strikes have been costly, with a nationwide economic impact of at least $5 billion, according to economists. The impacts have gone beyond production; it's affected local businesses and restaurants, as well as makeup artists and custodians.


Negotiations Over Streaming Residuals

SAG-AFTRA members will vote on whether to accept their union's deal, which includes increases in compensation for streaming shows and films, better health care funding, concessions from studios on self-taped auditions, and guarantees that studios will not use artificial intelligence to create digital replicas of their likenesses without payment or approval.

SAG-AFTRA, however, failed to receive a percentage of streaming service revenue. It had proposed a 2 percent share—later dropped to 1 percent, before a pivot to a per-subscriber fee. Instead, the major studios proposed a new residual for streaming programs based on performance metrics, which the union, after making some adjustments, agreed to take. At 118 days, the strike was the longest in the union's 90-year history, SAG-AFTRA said.

Even before the strikes, entertainment companies were cutting back on the number of television shows they ordered, a result of pressure from Wall Street to turn money-losing streaming services into profitable businesses. Analysts expect companies to make up for the pair of pricey new labor contracts by reducing costs elsewhere, including by making fewer shows.

For an industry upended by the streaming revolution, the tentative accord takes a meaningful step toward stabilization. About $10 billion in TV and film production has been on hold, according to ProdPro, a production tracking service.

Hollywood executives will now have to contend with a resurgent labor force, mirroring many other American businesses. In recent weeks, production workers at Walt Disney Animation voted to unionize, as did visual-effects workers at Marvel. Contracts with unions that represent Hollywood crews will expire in June and July, and negotiations are expected to be fractious.

(The New York Times)

Other Industries See Strikes

This year was marked by major strikes by autoworkers and health care workers. The United Auto Workers (UAW) union recently struck deals with Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, the parent company of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram. Around 40,000 UAW members went on strike over wages and benefits when their last contract expired on Sept. 15.

Meanwhile, health care workers recently ratified a new deal with Kaiser Permanente after striking over wages and staffing levels at health care facilities.

(SHRM Online, SHRM Online and SHRM Online


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