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Actors Strike Officially Begins Tomorrow

The actors strike is “probably” going to last a while, according to SAG-AFTRAleadership.

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher and National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland laid out their reasons for striking in an emotional press conference.

Drescher, during an impassioned speech, said “We have a problem”.

“This is a very seminal hour for us. I went in thinking that we would be able to avert a strike. The gravity of this move is not lost on me,” she said. “It’s a very serious thing that impacts thousands, if not millions of people all across this country and around the world. Not only members of this union, but people who work in other industries that service the people that work in this industry.”

“We had no choice. We are the victims here. We are being victimized by a very greedy entity,” she added.

Deadline understands that Drescher and others will begin picketing tomorrow morning with a bus leaving SAG-AFTRA HQ around 8:30am, where they will go to Netflix, Paramount, Warner Bros. Discovery and finishing off at Disney.

The Nanny star said that she was “shocked” by the way that studio execs are treating actor. “I cannot believe it, quite frankly, how far apart we are on so many things. It is disgusting. Shame on them. They stand on the wrong side of history.”

She added that actors can’t keep being “marginalized, disrespected and dishonored” by a business model that has been changed by streaming. “If we don’t stand tall right now, we are all going to be in trouble. We are all going to be in jeopardy of being replaced by machines and big business,” she added.

Deadline revealed earlier this week that the AMPTP strategy for the writers, who are also on strike, was to keep it going until October, when those scribes will be running out of money.

“The endgame is to allow things to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses,” a studio executive told Deadline. Acknowledging the cold-as-ice approach, several other sources reiterated the statement. One insider called it “a cruel but necessary evil.”

“A necessary evil? Can you believe that,” said Drescher. “We had a whiteboard with quotes just so the room would remember some of the things that were said. You know what? Eventually the people break down the gates of Versailles, and then it’s over and we’re at that moment right now,” she added.

Drescher replied that this was “egregious and disgusting”. What was historic was at a moment when streaming and AI and digital is so prevalent in the industry, it disemboweled the industry that we once knew. When I did The Nanny, everybody was part of the gravy train. Now, it’s a walled in vacuum.”

Crabtree-Ireland was similarly disappointed in the lack of an acceptable deal. He added that the current streaming model has “undercut” performers’ residual incomes, while expectations around self-tape auditions are causing actors to bear the costs themselves.

“This ‘groundbreaking’ AI proposal that they gave us yesterday that our background performers should be able to be scanned and get paid for one day’s pay and their companies should own that scan their image, their likeness to be able to use it for the rest of eternity in any project they want with no consent and no compensation, if you think that’s a groundbreaking proposal I suggest you think again.”

“Although, we’re all disappointed with the AMPTP’s reluctance to cooperate, the solidarity amongst SAG-AFTRA members has never been stronger,” he added. “I truly believe this union has the unity and the resolve needed to fight for the future of their careers.”

He added that SAG-AFTRA was open to talking with the AMPTP as soon as tonight. “They are they are well aware of what it takes to make a deal,” he added.


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