Another gut punch may be coming to the media industry if the 160,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) vote next week to walk out on their current contract negotiations with the studios. If they do, the actors will be joining Hollywood’s 11,000 writers on the picket line, who have been on strike for the past nine weeks.
The WGA strike has halted all new script development for upcoming movies and TV series. During this time, most production has continued with directors and actors remaining on set. If the SAG were to go out on strike, nearly all new shows would halt, starving studios of the new content they need to operate.
In addition to production shutdowns, a strike by the actors would also limit their availability to promote upcoming releases, which can be a critical element in a movie’s success. Recently, this fact was made clear by the notable absence of Ezra Miller in Warner Bros.’s marketing of THE FLASH, limiting its success at the box office.
Whatever the actors decide, filmmakers Christopher Nolan and Greta Gerwig will both be active in promoting next month’s big-ticket releases OPPENHEIMER and BARBIE because the directors’ guild recently agreed to new contract terms with the studios. But the absence of actors in film promotion presents another risk factor in the current year’s box office recovery.
See also: Hollywood Actors Extend Contract Talks at Deadline (New York Times)