SAG-AFTRA actors union agrees to deal with producers to end 118-day strike

Several major productions should start up in the coming weeks in metro Atlanta

The SAG-AFTRA actors strike finally appears to be over.

A union committee working on behalf of 160,000 members has agreed to a deal with the film and TV producers group, dubbed the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, after nearly four months on strike. About 3,000 of the members are based out of Atlanta.

The strike will officially be suspended at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

The proposed contract must be ratified by the union’s members.

In a statement, SAG-AFTRA said the contract is valued at more than $1 billion, noting “we have achieved a deal of extraordinary scope..We have arrived at a contract that will enable SAG-AFTRA members from every category to build sustainable careers. Many thousands of performers now and into the future will benefit from this work.”

Production of almost all scripted programming has been shut down in Georgia since mid-July. Because of an earlier writers strike in May that many production companies had anticipated, it has been fairly slow since the beginning of the year. Thousands of Georgia workers, from hairdressers to set decorators to camera operators, have had to scramble for other work in recent months.

The contract will last three years. The union has not released details yet but said it addresses greater minimum compensation, higher residual payments for actors on streaming programs and protections regarding the rise of artificial intelligence. The union tried to convince the producers to give them a cut of streaming revenue but that proposal was a non starter, in part because it would have opened the door for other unions to demand the same thing.

Several major productions should start up in the coming weeks in metro Atlanta, including Netflix shows “Stranger Things” and “Cobra Kai,” Starz drama “P-Valley” and ABC drama “Will Trent.”

In a case of bad timing, the metro area has seen a massive expansion in studio space in recent months. Athena Studios opened earlier this year in Athens. Electric Owl Studios near the Indian Creek MARTA station opened in June and is now shooting the fifth season of Fox’s “Lego Masters,” which previously had been shooting in Hiram’s ATL Film Studios. BlueStar Studios in Forest Park is set to open this month. And Lionsgate Studios will open in early 2024 in Douglasville.

The strike showed plenty of solidarity from other unions. The union acknowledge “the sacrifices they have made while supporting our strike and that of the Writers Guild of America. We stand together in solidarity and will be there for you when you need us.”

The writers began their strike in early May and signed a deal at the end of September, enabling shows like “The Tonight Show,” “The Kelly Clarkson Show” and “Saturday Night Live” to return last month.

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