Disaster for Hollywood: The actors' strike is here

The double strike with the authors deals a heavy blow to the industry

by Pierre Lorenz on July 12, 2023

The next setback for Hollywood: With the writers' strike already affecting the movie business, the next catastrophe is just around the corner. As of Thursday morning, it's clear that the tough negotiations between the studios and the actors' union SAG-AFTRA have failed. Numerous US actors will also go on strike.

For the movie and series industry, the two strikes are probably the biggest challenge of the 21st century so far. Since the beginning of May, the often neglected writers in Hollywood have been on strike for better wages and working conditions. So far, this has already resulted in a halt to production on "Stranger Things", "Blade", "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" and many other projects, and almost all well-known late-night shows have been put on hold as well.

Current reports show just how hard the battle is being fought. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) in particular is doing a poor job. Some insiders report that further negotiations are being deliberately delayed until the fall so that the authors are financially devastated and would become homeless - in which case they would have to agree to less favorable conditions. There is even talk of an alleged "cruel but necessary evil".

The Actors' Strike Is Here

The situation will get worse, as actors will now most likely join the writers and go on strike as well. The Screen Actors Guild, the union representing film and television actors in the U.S., has already called on its members to make preparations. Negotiations between the union and producers on a new collective agreement have recently stalled - the actors are also demanding better payment and working conditions. Above all, the trend towards fewer episodes, lower budgets and exploitation by streaming providers caused significant losses for the actors. This is currently also causing celebrity advocates like Ben Stiller, Pedro Pascal, Jennifer Lawrence, Bob Odenkirk and others to take to the streets, even though they probably have less trouble making ends meet. However, they are vocal in their solidarity with their colleagues.

The Consequences of the Strikes

One thing is certain: The strikes are a severe setback for numerous productions, and not just for purely U.S. ones. Many international productions are dependent on Hollywood participation. Some projects have already been put on hold due to the upcoming actors' strike, including "Gladiator 2", "Mortal Kombat 2", the future "Alien" series and many more.

In total, the actors' union has nearly 160,000 members, which means that more or less all current productions are affected - whether in the United States or elsewhere. Fans are now rightfully concerned about their long-awaited films and series, which may have to be postponed for an indefinite period of time. We'll keep you posted as soon as there's more news from the heated front - between actors and writers on one side and producers and streaming providers on the other.