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Hollywood actors ratify new contract that ended strike

UPI
Members of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists voted Tuesday to ratify the new deal their union reached with the major studios last month. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Hollywood actors have voted to ratify their new contract with the major studios and streaming services that employ them, their union said late Tuesday.

The members of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists voted 78.33% to ratify the deal, which the actors' union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers had agreed to in early November, ending what had been the longest actors' work stoppage in Hollywood history.

"This is a golden age for SAG-AFTRA, and our union has never been more powerful," union president Fran Drescher said in a statement following the vote.

The union said voter turnout was a little more than 38%.

UPI has contacted the AMPTP for comment.

Hollywood was brought to standstill this summer when its writers went on strike in early May, with its actors joining them on the picket lines in mid-July.

In mid-September, following a nearly 150-day strike, the Writers Guild of America union reached a tentative deal with studios, which was ratified weeks later.

The Hollywood actors soon followed, coming to the agreement ratified Tuesday in early November.

The deal agreed to Tuesday includes pay increases and regulations on the use of artificial intelligence, which had been a concern for both writers and actors, as well as a slew of other gains, such as a new compensation model for performers working in streaming and bolstered residuals.

SAG-AFTRA has celebrated the agreement as a huge victory for its members, with the union on Tuesday calling it "the dawning of a new era for the industry."

"SAG-AFTRA members demanded a fundamental change in the way this industry treats them: fairness in compensation for their labor, protection from abusive use of AI technology, strengthened benefit plans and equitable and respectful treatment for all members, among other things. This new contract delivers on these objectives and makes substantial progress in moving the industry in the right direction," Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA national executive director and chief negotiator, said in a statement.

"By ratifying this contract, members have made it clear that they're eager to use their unity to lay the groundwork for a better industry, improving the lives of those working in their profession."

The agreement is effective retroactively to Nov. 9, when the 118-day actors' strike ended, and expires June 30, 2026.