SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have officially announced plans to extend their current contract until July 12th, delaying a possible actors strike. The news was broken on late Friday night, with both parties confirming that the decision was made to allow bargaining to continue. Prior to this, the SAG-AFTRA contract was initially set to expire on Friday, June 30th at midnight PT, with many wondering if a strike would occur soon after. This decision mirrors what both parties did during 2014 and 2017 talks, in part to account for the Fourth of July holiday. In those previous instances, a new deal was reached between SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP by early July, but it is unclear at this point if that will happen this time around, especially as the Writers Guild of America has been on strike for several months now.
"The agreements, which were set to expire at 11:59 p.m. PT tonight, will now expire on July 12, at 11:59 pm PT," SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP said in a joint statement. "The parties will continue to negotiate under a mutually agreed upon media blackout. Neither organization will comment to the media about the negotiations during the extension."
Will the Actors Go on Strike?
Earlier this month, an open letter from more than 1,000 high-profile actors and SAG members was released, indicating that they are prepared to strike if the situation requires it. The actors on the letter include Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Amy Schumer, and even union president Fran Drescher.
"We want you to know that we would rather go on strike than compromise on these fundamental points, and we believe that, if we settle for a less than transformative deal, the future of our union and our craft will be undermined, and SAG-AFTRA will enter the next negotiation with drastically reduced leverage," the letter reads in part.
Who Is the President of SAG-AFTRA?
Drescher was elected the president of SAG-AFTRA in September of 2021. She recently went on to Good Morning America to provide an update about the negotiations.
"We do have unprecedented support from the union members where, if we feel like we're not making headway when the contract expires, which is June 30th at 11:59 p.m., we're gonna have to strike," Drescher said. "You know, in some areas we are, and in some areas we're not. So we just have to see. I mean, in earnest, it would be great if we can walk away with a deal that we want. And at the end of the day, you know, we're living in a time that's very different from the last few decades when the foundation of the contract was forged. It's the digital age now and the age of streaming, and it's a whole different business model. So it really begs that we stand firm and hold strong and do right by the members in this industry and honor the massive contribution that they make. So I'm really in it to win it on behalf of our 180,000 members. And we stand by the Writers Guild, too."
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