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SAG strike: Avatar and Gladiator sequels look like actor walkouts

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BBC News

Major films in production, including Avatar and Gladiator sequels, are expected to be affected by the strike action by Hollywood actors.

Promotional events such as red carpet premieres will also be affected, as will the Disney film Haunted Mansion, which is released later this month.

Events including the Emmys and Comic-Con may be rescheduled or shortened.

In the largest industrial shutdown in more than 60 years, nearly 160,000 artists stopped work at midnight in LA.

The announcement followed similar strike action by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and halted most American film and TV productions.

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) wants streaming companies to agree to higher profit sharing and better working conditions.

It also seeks to protect actors from being usurped by digital replicas.

The union is seeking guarantees that artificial intelligence (AI) and computer-generated faces and voices will not be used to replace actors.

As long as the strike continues, the actors will not be able to appear in films or promote their films.

Actors Celine Murphy, Matt Damon, and Emily Blunt walked out of the premiere of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer in London on Thursday night as a strike was called.

The film’s director, Christopher Nolan, told cinemagoers that he was “off to write his own strips”, adding that he supported him in his struggle.

The strike of films in production means that a large part of the work will become impossible. Even in cases where filming has already been completed, the actors will be unavailable for reshoots and other essential elements of the filming process.

TV shows that are currently filming will also have to stop, although in some cases side deals can be made between actors and producers to allow work to continue.

Several actors took to Instagram to voice their support for the strike, including Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk, Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon, and Hollywood veteran Jamie Lee Curtis.

Picketing will begin Friday morning outside Netflix’s California headquarters, before moving on to Paramount, Warner Bros., and Disney.

To address concerns about the use of AI, major studios have proposed what they call a “grand proposal” that would protect digital likenesses of actors and actresses when digital replicas are used, or altered, in performances. go If this is done, their consent will be required.

But the union rejected the offer from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

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BBC News

SAG national executive director and chief negotiator, Duncan Crabtree Ireland, said this was unacceptable.

“They propose that our background artists should be able to scan, be paid a day’s salary, and have their company use their image, a scan of their likeness, and the rest forever. should be able to.” said. “If you think this is an important proposition, I suggest you think again.”

AMPTP said the strike was “certainly not the outcome we had hoped for as studios cannot function without the actors who bring our TV shows and films to life”.

“The union has regrettably chosen a path that will cause financial hardship for countless thousands of people who depend on the industry,” its statement added.

The union is officially known as the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, or SAG-AFTRA.

Another demand for streaming services is to charge actors a higher base salary and residuals — meaning actors are paid for the movies and shows they’ve starred in.

The strike involves tens of thousands of actors who receive significantly less pay for minor parts than their A-list peers.

Kim Masters, editor-in-chief of The Hollywood Reporter, told the BBC that in the old model, they were paid based on success. “In the new model, they won’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, because streamers don’t share.”

Fran Drescher, president of SAG, said the strike comes at a “very important moment” for actors in the industry.

“What’s happening to us is happening in all sectors of labor,” he said, “when employers give in to Wall Street and their priorities, and the machines that drive them. They’re their parents. “They forget.”

A separate strike by 11,500 members of the Writers Guild of America has been underway since May 2 to demand better pay and working conditions.

Some authors have cited projects not covered by the contract between the Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

The “dual strike” by the two unions is the first since 1960 when SAG was led by actor Ronald Reagan, long before he entered politics and became US president. The last actors’ strike was in 1980.

Speaking to a gathering of industry leaders at an Idaho resort before SAG’s announcement Thursday, Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger said the demands from both actors and writers were unworkable and harmful to the industry. Still recovering from the pandemic.

“It’s very disturbing to me,” Mr. Egger said. “This is the worst time in the world to add to this disruption.”

A third union, the Directors Guild of America, successfully negotiated a deal in June and will not participate.

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BBC News

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