Actors strike ends: SAG-AFTRA, unions reach 'tentative' agreement after 118 days

The actors' strike is "tentatively" over, reports suggest.
The actors' strike is "tentatively" over, reports suggest. Photo credit: Getty Images

The actors' strike is reportedly over.

Reports from Hollywood suggest SAG-AFTRA (The Screen Actors Guild American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) and the unions have reached a "tentative" deal after 118 days of strike action.

The strike is due to end at 12:01am on Thursday (US time), reports claimed.

The new three-year contract will have to be ratified first by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers' members (AMPTP).

The Hollywood Reporter said the deal would go before the union's national board on Friday (US time) for approval.

The provisional agreement has come after two weeks of renewed negotiations between both sides.

On Saturday, the studios presented what the union characterised as the companies' "last, best and final" offer.

One of the sticking points between both sides was the use of artificial intelligence and its proposed implementation by studios. During the week, details emerged that one of the major concerns was over the planned use of an actor's digital image in perpetuity without payment to either them or their estate after their death.

US publication Variety reported the deal would "see the first-ever protections for actors against artificial intelligence and a historic pay increase". However, the unions have kept quiet on what the actual contents of the proposed deal are until it's been presented to its members.

In September, the Writers Guild of America and major studios and streamers reached an agreement on a new three-year contract after being out on strike for 146 days, marking the first time in decades both the writers and actors had downed tools for industrial action.

In that deal, the sticking point was the details of language around the use of "generative AI in content production" was one of the last items discussed before the deal was presented.

"We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional - with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership," an email from the WGA said to its members at the time.

Deadline reported the six months of Hollywood strikes were estimated to have cost the Southern California economy more than US$6.5 billion and 45,000 entertainment industry jobs after production ground to a halt.