Exactly why are they striking, who are the big names aboard, is it all streaming and AI’s fault and when will we see actors on screen again?
Who is on strike?
The strike was called on Thursday morning by US actors’ union Sag-Aftra (which was formed in 2012 after a merger between the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), after the breakdown in negotiations with the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers), which represents the studio bosses. Sag-Aftra has around 160,000 members: actors in film and TV shows, as well as video game performers, radio presenters, models and YouTube influencers. Technically the union only covers the US, but its Global Rule One demands that members pull out of any production anywhere in the world.
Who is Sag-Aftra’s firebrand leader?
The union’s president and figurehead is Fran Drescher, who you might remember from 90s TV show The Nanny. Having faced down a modicum of criticism for shooting off to Italy for a photoshoot with Kim Kardashian as negotiations were heading for the rocks, Drescher stormed back with an incendiary speech, in which she poured scorn on studio bosses (“They plead poverty, that they’re losing money left and right when giving hundreds of millions of dollars to their CEOs. It is disgusting. Shame on them.”) and invoked the spirit of the French Revolution: “Eventually, the people break down the gates of Versailles, and then it’s over!”
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