The writers’ strike has now entered its sixth week, with no end in sight. While most of the industry’s attention has been focused on the writers during this time, there were major developments this week in parallel negotiations that studios have been engaged in with unions for the screen actors and directors.
The leaders of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) announced their support for a three-year agreement with the studios, bringing a 13% pay raise, 76% increase in streaming residuals, and protections from potential displacement due to the studio’s future use of Artificial Intelligence. All of these matters were also key topics for the writers’ union in their negotiations. As a result, it seems likely that the writers will obtain similar terms and protections in their eventual contract with the studios.
Later in the week, an impressive 97.9% of the members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) voted to authorize strike action, if necessary, when their current contract with the studios expires at the end of the month. The potential is looming that both the writers and actors will be out on strike as of July 1st, halting most work on Hollywood’s movie production.
A strike from the actors would be more impactful in the short term, as actors would not be available to promote their upcoming movie releases. A slate of high-profile July releases could be impacted, including MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: DEAD RECKONING PART ONE, BARBIE, and OPPENHEIMER.
While these release dates are too close for their studios to make a change, the lack of promotion will inevitably hold down their box office grosses. Actors would not be present at events such as Comic-Con, which takes place July 19th-23rd. And if the strike drags on into the fall, studios might be tempted to push back fall release dates until these labor disputes have been settled.