Saturday, October 21, 2023, marked the 100th day of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike. As the approximately 160 thousand actors, writers, and media professionals battle to gain fairer wages and working conditions, the 100th day marks only one significant claim, do not dress as a movie character this Halloween. As you may imagine, this request wasn’t so easily accepted.
Members of the guild have seen their revenue share diminish with the growing presence of streaming platforms. Writers are on edge with the growing fear of studios taking to Artificial Intelligence to write scripts. Yet, as the 100th day passes with no end in sight, SAG-AFTRA has looked to a Halloween costumes ban to re-spark the fire in their members' bellies. As stated in their request, “Let's use our collective power to send a loud and clear message to our struck employers that we will not promote their content without a fair contract! Dress up as characters from non-struck content, like an animated TV show.”
SAG-AFTRA adjusted its statement stating it was only intended for adults. That, however, didn't stop several prominent figures from taking to social media to share their opinions. Ryan Reynolds jokingly said on X, “I look forward to screaming "scab" at my 8-year-old all night. She's not in the union but she needs to learn.”
Halloween costumes aside, some actors are at the forefront of their own ideas to end the strike. According to a story published by CBS News, George Clooney has spearheaded a proposal that would eliminate the cap on union dues for “Top Performers”. Clooney and a group that includes Scarlett Johansson, Tyler Perry, and Ben Affleck, believe the deal would create up to $50 million annually for the union. The proposal has gained little to no traction with union President, Fran Drescher at this time. Clooney and company, still believe a deal can be reached regardless of Drescher expressing the securing and signing of a new collective bargaining deal as her main concern.
Negotiations on a new CBA have come to an abrupt halt. SAG-AFTRA last met with the Alliance Of Motion Picture And Television Producers (AMPTP) a few weeks ago. The actors guild was looking for an 11% increase in general wages. The AMPTP was unwilling to increase its 5% offer. Both parties are expected to meet on Thursday to reengage contract negotiations and hopefully come to an agreement.
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