In a display of unity and celebration, members of the Screen Actors Guild?American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) gathered at All Season Brewing in Los Angeles, raising their glasses to the conclusion of a 118-day strike and the dawn of a new era in their industry.
This festive event, strategically held near the SAG-AFTRA headquarters, followed a pivotal day where the union's negotiating committee, led by notable members Frances Fisher, Shari Belafonte, and Avis Boone, unanimously approved a groundbreaking three-year contract with major studios and streaming services.
The atmosphere at the brewery was electric, with actors cheering the arrival of Fisher, Belafonte, and Boone, who had just come from a grueling 10-hour negotiation session the previous day. In conversations with The Hollywood Reporter, these key committee members expressed their relief and excitement, with Fisher emphasizing the comprehensive nature of the deal.
"It's the whole package,” she noted, illustrating the committee's commitment to achieving gains across various aspects of their membership. Belafonte reflected on the transformative journey, acknowledging past challenges and crediting SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher's leadership for rallying the members and fostering unity.
The strike, she pointed out, had not only highlighted the committee’s dedication but also the unwavering support of the union members who stood on picket lines for over three months. Echoing this sentiment, Boone paid homage to the strike captains in Los Angeles and New York, whose solidarity and support were instrumental in the strike's outcome.
Their voices, she said, were a constant source of strength for the negotiating team.
Captains Celebrate Milestone
Strike captains like Chelsea Schwartz and Brendan Bradley shared their elation at the gathering, with Schwartz labeling the strike’s resolution as surreal and Bradley envisioning a new chapter in union advocacy and literacy in Hollywood.
As the strike approaches its official end at 12:01 am Thursday, there's a buzz of curiosity among the members about key elements of the tentative agreement, particularly concerning AI, streaming residuals, and base salary increases.
The agreement is set to be reviewed by the union’s national board on Friday. This significant moment marks not just the end of a challenging strike but also a turning point in the relationship between actors and the evolving landscape of Hollywood, particularly in the era of streaming and digital content.