WASHINGTON: The longest strike in film and television actors’ history reached its 100th day on Saturday after negotiations with studios fell through. In contrast, screenwriters are busy getting back to work while actors are still on picket lines, reported Variety.
Furthermore, it’s not certain when it will end. On October 11, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers put a halt to negotiations, and as of this writing, there has been no indication that the parties will be ready to resume talks.
A coalition of major studios and the actors’ union jointly declared that talks will restart on Tuesday with several studio executives anticipated to attend.
According to Variety, Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has expressed frustration over the lack of talks. Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the union’s chief negotiator, said the 100-day milestone is a reminder of how little substantive negotiation has taken place since the strike began.
“We all will reflect on the fact that it’s been such a long time and so many of those days have been spent out on the picket lines and not in the room negotiating with the companies,” he said.
Asked if he still thought it was possible for the strike to go into January, he said, “I certainly hope it won’t be that long. But it requires two parties to talk in order for us to move things forward.”
How long SAG-AFTRA can preserve its unity is a crucial topic. A-list celebrities, led by George Clooney, are now criticising Drescher because they have a different strategy to end the strike and made it public on Thursday. However, the back-and-forth revealed a divide between the guild and many of its most well-known members, which Drescher promptly dismissed as impractical.
Union leaders are also encouraging members to express their support by spending only a few hours a day on the picket lines.
The guild also pointed out that the Writers Guild of America strike lasted far longer and resulted in an agreement that met all of the union’s objectives.
“The WGA triumphed after 148 hard-fought days, proof that perseverance will break the toughest barriers and result in the transformative change we need to justify everyone’s sacrifices,” the union said in a message to members.
According to Variety, taken together, the two Hollywood strikes have now lasted 173 days, and the economic toll is climbing, both for actors and for below-the-line workers. Jules Bruff, a Disney strike captain, said that members are stressed out, and some are seeking out mental health resources. But, she said that spirits remain high on the lines.
“The thing about actors is we are incredibly resilient,” she said. “We’re starting to get tired physically, but we’re resolved.” Laurie Hendler, another captain at Disney, said that membership was reenergized when the AMPTP walked away from the table.
“I think some of us were kind of feeling like we could coast through to the end,” she said. “And the next morning we had hundreds of people out here… I think that the studios are hoping they can divide us. They’re hoping they can break us. And they’re hoping that if they take their time, we will fall apart. And the fact that there are so many of us out here shows that that’s not going to happen”, reported Variety. (ANI)