Hollywood's actors may join its writers on strike; contract negotiations extend to July 12

A possible strike will likely shut down all television and film productions.

ByStephanie Guerilus ABCNews logo
Monday, July 3, 2023
SAG-AFTRA members may join WGA on picket lines after midnight deadline
The nearly 160,000 TV and film actors that make up SAG-AFTRA could soon be joining the WGA on the picket lines as the union's contract is set to expire at midnight on Friday

LOS ANGELES -- The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) agreed Friday to an extension of the 2020 TV/Theatrical contracts in a move that averts a possible strike .

The current SAG-AFTRA contract was set to expire Friday at midnight but has now been extended to July 12, at 11:59 pm PT.

SAG-AFTRA released an open letter Friday to its members stating that negotiations have been ongoing for three weeks for a comprehensive and inclusive contract.

"No one should mistake this extension for weakness. We see you. We hear you. We are you," the letter states.

SAG-AFTRA voted last month to authorize a strike if a deal had not been reached between the studios, production companies and streamers by June 30. Nearly 98% of the 65,000 members cast their vote in favor of the strike.

Rolling Stone reported earlier this week that Hollywood superstars such as Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence and Ben Stiller were among 300 members that urged the union to stand strong to ensure better compensation and addressed concerns about artificial intelligence in a letter.

"We want you to know that we would rather go on strike than compromise on these fundamental points, and we believe that, if we settle for a less than transformative deal, the future of our union and our craft will be undermined, and SAG-AFTRA will enter the next negotiation with drastically reduced leverage," the letter states.

The Writers Guild of America went on strike in May after a failure to reach an agreement with studios.