SAG-AFTRA has reached a tentative agreement that will end the longest actor strike in Hollywood history. The agreement has vast implications for actors and the TV and film industries.
The announcement was made Wednesday when the union revealed the 118-day strike would officially end at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday. Variety reports that the union’s negotiation committee approved the deal in a unanimous vote. Their proposed agreement will stand before the SAG-AFTRA national board for approval on Friday.
The deal aims to protect actors against artificial intelligence and it will also include a historic pay increase. The deal will also see most minimums increase by 7 percent — two percent above the increases received by the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America.
Their proposed deal will also include a “streaming participation bonus,” according to an email sent to SAG-AFTRA members, as well as increases in pension and health contributions. The union said the contract is worth more than $1 billion in total.
“We have arrived at a contract that will enable SAG-AFTRA members from every category to build sustainable careers,” the union said in the email. “Many thousands of performers now and into the future will benefit from this work.”
One member of the committee, Kevin E. West, shared in their joy saying, “tears of exhilaration and joy” in the committee room after the contract was approved.
“The final vote was unanimous. That’s a difficult thing to accomplish,” West said. “It’s honestly been a really long two weeks.”
The extraordinary achievement means that actors, directors, writers, producers, and other members of TV and film crews will finally be able to return to work. Though this was a major win for SAG-AFTRA, it was a win for the entire entertainment industry.
They have made history in a notable structural change that will benefit performers’ likenesses and talents for years to come. Though the union made some compromises and didn’t meet all of their demands, they are seeking even more in the next negotiation in 2026.
Talks about AI were one of the most difficult issues to resolve amongst SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). According to Variety, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the union’s top negotiator, met with Carol Lombardini, the CEO of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, via Zoom on Wednesday to work on the last details.
The AMPTP issued a statement Wednesday saying that the contract “represents a new paradigm.”
“The AMPTP is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement and looks forward to the industry resuming the work of telling great stories,” the employer group said.
Union members are expected to vote to ratify an agreement, a process that is likely to take at least a week or more. Still, the strike has already been called off, which means actors can return to work.
This comes off the heels of a historic win for the Writers Guild of America (WGA) back in September as they announced their strike was off.
Many productions have been on hold since the strike took place six months ago, and the actors’ union joined them on the picket lines in mid-July. This shut down several productions, except for a few approved indie productions.
Until this year, the longest actor strike against TV and film companies ran for 95 days in 1980. This year’s strike surpassed that on Oct. 17 in a historic win for the industry’s talent.
For fans, this means more of our favorite programming will return on the big and small screens very soon.
Congrats to more great TV and film!
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