As Actors Strike Drags On, Despair Descends on Hollywood | Vanity Fair
A Festive Fete The jubilation unfolds as actors revel in the resolution of the SAG-AFTRA strike at All Season Brewing in Los Angeles. TIFFANY TAYLOR Share this article on Facebook Share this article on Twitter Share this article on Flipboard Share this article on Email Show additional share options And now… the revelry begins!
Wednesday evening witnessed soaring spirits as SAG-AFTRA members congregated at All Season Brewing in Los Angeles to raise a toast to the union’s tentative three-year contract agreement with studios and streamers, marking the close of the 118-day actors’ strike.
Organizers chose the brewery for its proximity to SAG-AFTRA headquarters, where, just hours prior, the negotiating committee greenlit the agreement with unanimous enthusiasm.
Related Stories SAG-AFTRA logo BUSINESS “A Deal of Extraordinary Scope”: SAG-AFTRA Touts Agreement With Studios Fran Drescher attends a SAG-AFTRA & WGA rally at City Hall Park on Aug. 1, 2023, in New York City. GENERAL NEWS Hollywood Reacts to Tentative SAG-AFTRA, AMPTP Deal: “We Did It” A cacophony of cheers erupted as negotiating committee members, including Frances Fisher, Shari Belafonte, and Avis Boone, arrived to join the festivities after a marathon 10-hour session on Tuesday and the decisive vote on Wednesday.
Fisher, Belafonte, and Boone shared their sentiments with The Hollywood Reporter, expressing “relief” and “excitement” at the strike’s conclusion, shedding light on the comprehensive deal.
“It’s not just one thing, it’s the whole package,” Fisher shared with THR, emphasizing the multifaceted victories achieved by the negotiating committee. “It’s the whole thing combined, just like our membership. There are so many different categories that we wanted to get something for everybody. And we did.”
Belafonte added, “I think there are things that were happening in the past that got overlooked for so many years. Not because there wasn’t a lot of strength behind it. It just was a different membership that came up to the forefront and certainly a different leader. [SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher] was unstoppable and she rallied the troops and while there had been some division in the past that just faded away, everybody came to the plate.”
The negotiating committee members also lauded SAG-AFTRA members who stood in solidarity on the picket lines over the past 118 days.
“They were the backbone of this whole thing,” affirmed Belafonte. “Even though we as members were in [negotiations], obviously getting the best deal that we could, it was hearing their voices, as you can hear tonight, that kept us strong, too.”
“And our strike captains in LA and our strike captains in New York,” added Boone. “We could not have done this without the solidarity, the support and the love that we felt from the picket lines.”
Numerous strike captains graced the celebration, expressing mutual gratitude for the negotiating committee and their fellow actors.
“It’s surreal,” said Chelsea Schwartz, a strike captain at Amazon, about the work stoppage finally coming to an end. “If people are offered to go back to work tomorrow, we could be back to work tomorrow, and it’s crazy to think about that. I’m very happy. I’m excited to be celebrating with everybody tonight. I’m really proud of my negotiating committee.”
“We were out on those lines, every single day,” said Brendan Bradley, a strike captain at Paramount. “This is a new chapter for union literacy and advocacy, and I think we’re going to bring that into the next chapter of Hollywood.”
AI, streaming residuals, and base salary increases are among the deal points that SAG-AFTRA members at All Season Brewing on Wednesday evening express curiosity about in the tentative agreement. The strike concludes at 12:01 am Thursday, with the deal awaiting approval from the union’s national board on Friday.
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