In another sign that the writers’ strike may not be resolved anytime soon, the board of directors of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) voted unanimously this week to recommend their own strike in advance of the June 7th kick-off to their own negotiations on a new studio contract.
SAG leadership announced that their recommendation was made in “solidarity” with the writers who are currently embroiled in their own strike with the studios. While this is only a recommendation from the SAG’s leaders, it is still a significant step in light of the fact that the actors did not join the writers in 2007 when they last went out on strike.
In fact, the last time that the actors went on strike was 43 years ago, in a walkout that lasted 95 days over a dispute focused on compensation paid for pay-TV and videocassette distribution. Currently, it’s streaming that is forcing a rethink of business models, with significant impacts on both writers and actors.
The studio’s perspective on current negotiations is clouded by their significant challenges in turning a profit in the streaming era, having invested massively to create direct-to-consumer, digital services.
While the impact on exhibitors is minimal at this point, a long strike could begin to jeopardize the pipeline of new movies scheduled for release in 2024 and beyond.