This evening it was confirmed that the Hollywood actors’ strike which threatened to throw the studios into chaos may finally be over after 118 days, as union SAG-AFTRA has reached a tentative agreement for a new three-year deal with studios.
Baldwin, 65, took to his Instagram to film a video reaction, as he stressed that the movie business is ‘human based.’
Strikes began on July 14 with actors highlighting a number of issues including pay and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) at the heart of the talks.
‘If you want to make AI products, go form your own business,’ the actor stated in his clip, quoting fellow actress Justine Bateman, 57.
‘I was just recording a message about the strike I just got this update that the strike is over. Wow, the strike is over,’ Baldwin said at the start of his clip.
‘I’m very very pleased to hear that. My congratulations to everybody who did all the great work on behalf of the membership… and all of the people who’ve done the great work.’
‘I also want to single out Justine Bateman, who went on my podcast, and articulated the AI issue precisely and concisely, and effectively.’
‘She came out and said “Hey, you want to have an AI universe? Go ahead. You want to make AI movies that are all about AI and rooted in AI? Great. But don’t have this hybrid notion of AI mixed with live action.’
‘I think her line was, “You’re either in the movie and television business or you’re not. And if you’re in the AI business, then go in the AI business.”‘
‘Remember that the movie business and the television business are human based – are human centric.’
‘Of course if AI becomes dominant in some way, and they decide to go in that direction, I’m a thousand percent confident – and I’d like to see the Academy make some remarks about this – AI films are not eligible for Oscars.’
‘You can’t have AI films eligible for Oscars. Movies that are eligible for Academy Awards should be movies that are produced by human beings, written by human beings, directed by human beings, scored by human beings, filmed by human beings, and acted by human beings.’
‘I don’t think of any component of a film… in any category. You want to have AI music? You want to have an orchestral sound without paying a 150 members of an orchestra? Great, then your music would be ineligible for any music awards in the Oscars.’
He added that it would be the same for writing and acting.
‘I’m really grateful. I’m happy myself because I’d like to go back to work on some serious level,’ he added, before wrapping up the video.
Meanwhile Teigen, 37, shared a photo of herself with the caption: ‘Me pretending the strike is why I have not been working.’
Lili Reinhart, 27, seemed relieved at the news as she reposted a Variety article about the end of the strike to her Instagram Stories with a crying emoji and praying hands emoji.
Frances Fisher, 71, was elated about the news, sharing a snap of herself outside the SAG-AFTRA building with her hands joyfully stretched out towards the sky.
‘Day 118. #SAG-AFTRA OVERat 12:00 midnight tonight,’ she wrote along with a number of red heart emojis.
Mandy Moore, 39, wrote: ‘Thank you @sagaftra negotiators and leadership for getting us over the finish line!!! Gratitude is the attitude!! And grateful to all those who walked the walk (picketers, strike captains, our fellow union brothers and sisters, etc…)
The This Is Us star added on another Instagram Story: ‘Let’s get back to work, friends!’
Britney Spears’ ex-husband Sam Asghari, 29, reposted a story from The Hollywood Reporter about the end of the strike, adding two strong arm emojis.
Fran Drescher, 66, shared a joyous Instagram post, writing, We did it!!!! The Billion+ $ Deal! 3X the last contract! New ground was broke everywhere!Ty sag aftra members for hanging in and holding out for this historic deal!’
‘Ty neg comm, strike captains, staff, Duncan & Ray, our lawyers, the IA team, family and friends. Our sister unions for their unrelenting support! And the amptp for hearing us and meeting this moment! #sagaftrastrong.’
Viola Davis, 58, shared a post writing, ‘Wooooooooohoooooo!!!!! Congrats to ALL involved!! To the artists who toughed it out and suffered insurmountable losses….To the actors who showed up on picket lines and stood in solidarity…..to our leaders who fought steady, hard….a hearty CONGRATULATIONS!!!! It is a privilege to be an artist but an even greater privilege to be in a community. Big love!!!!’
‘Strikes over!!!!!’ Hillary Duff, 36, wrote on Instagram.
Meanwhile union team captain Brittney Baxter was pictured cheering and hugging friends at a brewery in Los Angeles after finding out the good news.
Two weeks of intense negotiation between the performers’ union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers appears to have produced a break-through in the long-running dispute with an official end penciled in for 12.01am on Thursday.
The union said in a statement that its negotiators had voted unanimously to approve the tentative deal, which will proceed to the union’s national board on Friday for ‘review and consideration’.
The deal still needs to be ratified by union members but would bring to an end a summer of industrial action which also saw Hollywood writers strike for nearly five months.
Talks had collapsed as recently as October 12 when studio bosses walked away on the grounds that the $800 million more per year SAG-AFTRA proposal meant ‘the gap is too great’.
But Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros Discovery’s David Zaslav, and Disney’s CEO Bob Iger attended resumed talks in person at the union’s national headquarters in Los Angeles as the dispute threatened to bring the industry to its knees.
Warner Bros predicted in September that the actor and writers’ strike would see it lose up to $500million this year.
Hollywood’s first dual work stoppage in 63 years, halted productions across the industry and cost the economy billions of dollars.
But the studios announced that they had suspended contract negotiations in October after making an offer as good as the one that ended the writers strike.
‘It is clear that the gap between the AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA is too great, and conversations are no longer moving us in a productive direction,’ the AMPTP said in a statement.
The actors union decried their opponents’ ‘bullying tactics’ and said they were wildly mischaracterizing their offers.
But talks resumed on October 24 after a near two-week break when, the studios improved their offer to increase actors’ wage floors, and moved on a success-based streaming bonus.
Two days later a letter was released signed by thousands of actors, telling union negotiators, ‘We have not come all this way to cave now.’
Details of the new deal have yet to emerge after the studios made their ‘last, best and final,’ offer on the use of AI which actors fear will destroy their profession.
In a letter to actors last month the union claimed the companies ‘refuse to protect performers from being replaced by AI, they refuse to increase your wages to keep up with inflation, and they refuse to share a tiny portion of the immense revenue YOUR work generates for them’.
The union has worked to close any potential AI loopholes that could lead to future issues, as well as securing a major increase to health and pension contributions caps that have not changed in decades.
SAG-AFTRA announced they would be joining the strike on July 13 and its president actress Fran Drescher said: ‘We demand respect! You cannot exist without us!
‘What happens to us is important,’ The Nanny star added. ‘What’s happening to us is happening across all fields of labor.
‘When employers make Wall Street and greed their priority and they forget about the essential contributors who make the machine run, we have a problem.
‘The jig is up, we demand respect,’ she said.