Hollywood Actors and Studios Extend Contract Talks Averting Possible Strike

A SAG-AFTRA member walks the picket line in support of the WGA writers strike near the Manhattan Center where the Fox upfront 2023 was held in New York City on May 15, 2023. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Just a few hours before the clock ran out on its current contract, SAG-AFTRA agreed to extend negotiations with Hollywood studios averting a possible strike.

The actors union’s three-year film and TV contract expired at 11:59 p.m. on June 30.

In an open letter to members Friday night, the guild’s TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee said it would continue negotiating with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) in an effort to “exhaust every opportunity” to avoid a second Hollywood strike.

“We have been in negotiations with the AMPTP for more than three weeks under an unusually tight negotiating schedule while fighting for a comprehensive and inclusive contract,” the letter stated.

“In order to exhaust every opportunity to achieve the righteous contract we all demand and deserve, after thorough deliberation it was unanimously decided to allow additional time to negotiate by extending the contract until 11:59 p.m. PT on July 12, 2023,” the letter added.

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Union leaders, who represent 160,000 members included a message in the letter saying they were not bowing to pressure from the studios and streamers.

“No one should mistake this extension for weakness,” the letter stated. “We see you. We hear you. We are you.”

The letter was signed by Fran Drescher, president and chair of the negotiating committee; Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the union’s national executive director and chief negotiator; plus more than three dozen other committee members including Sean Astin, Shari Belafonte, Frances Fisher, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Lisa Ann Walter.

The announcement comes as the Writers Guild of America strike enters its ninth week on Tuesday. The WGA strike began on May 2, after talks between the union and the AMPTP broke down.

The Directors Guild of America (DGA) reached a new contract agreement with the studios on June 3.

On June 23, the DGA announced the three-year agreement had been overwhelmingly approved by its members.