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Is another Hollywood strike on the horizon?

It has been two months since the Writers Guild of America went on strike due to many failed negotiations with Hollywood producers as writers demanded better wages due to the high rise of streaming services. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

[UPDATE]: The contract between SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP has expired July 12, with neither side agreeing to a new negotiation. Actors have been calling for increased pay and protection against artificial intelligence but after countless attempts, the union that represents 160,000 actors is set to strike midnight PT Friday morning.  

A historic decision as this would be the first time since 1960 that actors and writers have been on a strike simultaneously. This decision will likely bring film productions to a halt as the actors would join 11,000 writers on the picket lines.  


Hollywood is again in a battle as writers put their pencils down in solidarity with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike that started May 2. Posters in the air and people chanting, more than 10,000 writers are out on picket lines protesting. However, could Hollywood actors soon join them?  

It has been two months since the WGA went on strike, a labor dispute between the organization and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). This dispute came after many failed negotiations with Hollywood producers as writers demanded better wages due to the high rise of streaming services.  

As writers stopped producing scripts, many shows that people love to watch, including “Abbott Elementary,” “Severance,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and more, had to stop production with the possibility of short or delayed seasons. Even shows like “Euphoria,” “The White Lotus” and “The Last of Us” had to push their premiere dates to 2024 and 2025.  

“It’s awful to be out of work and we’re all looking to get back to what we love to do,” said Zayd Dohrn, WGA strike captain, in an interview with Insider. “To delay the beginning of their careers to have a long term and more sustainable industry for everyone. I think that’s a sacrifice most people would be willing to make.”  

Putting down their pens and closing their laptops, many writers have also put their careers and ability to support their families on hold, and actors could soon join.  

As summer was approaching, two major entertainment guilds, the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA), entered summer with expiring contracts with AMPTP that ended June 30, both parties have a rocky relationship with AMPTP.  

While DGA reached a tentative contract agreement with AMPTP, SAG-AFTRA did not. The union has asked for an improved contract that offers better compensation for its actors, protection against artificial intelligence and more.  

But things took a turn June 5, as SAG-AFTRA members voted 97 percent in favor of striking out if AMPTP did not meet their negotiations.  

Leadership members came together to start negotiations June 7. As days loomed with nothing set in stone and the expiration date on the horizon, more than 500 A-list actors signed a letter addressing the union.  

“A strike brings incredible hardships to many, and no one wants it. But we are prepared to strike if it comes to that,” they wrote. “Solidarity demands honesty we need to make our clear resolve; this is not a moment to meet in the middle.”   

The letter provided by Variety included actors Jennifer Lawrence, Quinta Brunson, Ben Stiller, Meryl Streep and more. Emphasizing that SAG-AFTRA members were ready to make sacrifices, that leadership was not.  

“We feel that our craft and creative freedom have been undermined in the last decade and we need to reverse those trajectories,” they wrote. “We ask you to push for the change and protection that we deserve and use the power given to you by us and join WGA in the picket lines.” 

After countless negotiations between the two parties, June 30 arrived without a new agreement set in stone. Frustrated and disappointed, SAG officials agreed to extend the deadline until July 12 to avoid a strike.  

So, what happens if SAG-AFTRA declares a strike?  

SAG-AFTRA represents more than 160,000 performers, and actors joining their screenwriters on the picket lines would be the first time since 1960 that both actors and writers are protesting over similar contract disputes. 

If Hollywood actors pick up their picket signs, productions on films would be put on pause, and the effect of a dual strike would be felt by many, causing the real possibility of Hollywood shutting down.  

So be prepared to start seeing reruns of shows on television and get settled on watching lots of reality television this upcoming fall, as those non-scripted shows would be the only source of entertainment for a while. 

Erik Acosta is the web and copy editor and may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributor
Erik Acosta
Erik Acosta, Editor-in-Chief
Erik Acosta is the editor-in-chief for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in theatre. He plans to pursue a career in broadcast journalism and print with hopes of working at LA times, Washington Post and ABC News.
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