SAG-AFTRA Strike Continues as A-Listers, Netflix Weigh In

As the SAG-AFTRA strike continues, and working-class actors are still on the picket line, A-list stars are navigating their movements almost too cautiously, calling for contentious talks with the AMPTP to resume as we head into the winter months.

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Among the whole of the studio system, entertainment conglomerate Netflix addressed the SAG-AFTRA strike during today’s third-quarter earnings report. The streamer’s letter to shareholders read in part, “The last six months have been challenging for our industry given the combined writers and actors strikes in the U.S. While we have reached an agreement with the WGA, negotiations with SAG-AFTRA are ongoing”—though no announced return to the table has been scheduled. The letter continued: “We’re committed to resolving the remaining issues as quickly as possible so everyone can return to work making movies and TV shows that audiences will love.”

As the strike draws closer to hitting the 100-day mark on October 21, actors are still showing up to march picket lines. While the SAG-AFTRA united front stands tall day to day, some A-listers have brought visibility to the cause through media campaigns and appearances—well, in seemingly constrained ways. At the recent New York Comic Con, stars in attendance diligently avoided promoting struck projects, but also didn’t use their platforms to bring more attention to the cause. Ewan McGregor taught an audience how to make proper tea, while others like Rhys Darby jokingly expressed their boredom while attempting to keep fans entertained.

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io9 reported that Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA’s executive director and chief negotiator, spoke with candor at the convention on a panel about AI in entertainment. “The law has not in any way kept up with this technology… The best place to immediately protect performers is collective bargaining, because right now these companies, such as the video game studios, can’t actually use your voice, your likeness, etc., without the consent of the unions because of federal labor laws,” he said. “So it gives us a position and a platform to immediately attack violations.”

On Tuesday afternoon, actors including Scarlett Johansson, Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Tyler Perry, and Emma Stone held a Zoom meeting with SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher and Crabtree-Ireland. Variety described the conversation as “supportive” as the actors presented their case, the nature of which is under wraps. SAG-AFTRA said in a statement, “We meet with members of all profiles every day and we won’t be commenting on those private conversations.” Leadership is set to deliver a response to the conversation after meeting with the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee on Wednesday afternoon.

Keep up with the SAG-AFTRA strike here on io9.

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