Since the 2023 Hollywood writers’ strike began, actors in the entertainment industry have been standing in solidarity with them as they picket in front of studios demanding fair contracts. Now the actors and SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) are about to officially step into the ring when their current contract officially ends on June 30.
At the moment, members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) are at a standstill in contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents studios like Universal Pictures, Walt Disney, Warner Bros, Netflix, and more. The WGA is asking for a fair living wage, health insurance, guaranteed work, and regulations on how artificial intelligence is used in the industry, among other justifiable requests.
Now, more than 300 actors have taken their support a step further and have signed a letter to SAG-AFTRA leadership threatening that actors will soon join the writers if their labor union doesn’t take a stronger stance on the strike. Some of the Latine actors who have signed onto the letter include Eva Longoria, John Leguizamo, Ariana DeBose, Fred Armisen, Jordana Brewster, Genesis Rodriguez, Rafael Casal, Shakira Barrera, and more.
“A strike brings incredible hardships to so many, and no one wants it,” reads the letter addressed to the SAG-AFTRA leadership and negotiating committee. “But we are prepared to strike if it comes to that. And we are concerned by the idea that SAG-AFTRA members may be ready to make sacrifices that leadership is not.”
So, what does it mean if members of SAG-AFTRA decide to join the WGA and go on strike? To put it bluntly, the entire industry would shut down. If SAG goes on strike, actors won’t go to work, which means some of your favorite shows (e.g. Wednesday, Andor, The Last of Us, Lopez vs. Lopez) are likely to either get canceled or pushed to a later premiere date on the calendar.
Movies, too, will be affected. We’ve already seen El Muerto get dropped from Sony’s calendar recently, which may have been a factor in Bad Bunny’s decision to move on from the project. And if movies like Rachel Zegler’s Snow White need reshoots or Lupita Nyong’o’s A Quiet Place: Day One needs reshoots, they will also be delayed because actors will not cross the picket line. It’s likely that the impact across the film and TV industry will be felt for months and even years.
And it won’t stop at TV shows and movies. If actors go on strike, they won’t be making appearances at any upcoming events like San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), New York Comic-Con, or film festivals. It would explain how studios like Marvel, Netflix, and Universal are pulling out of SDCC in a manner we’ve never seen before.
“This is not a moment to meet in the middle,” the letter continues. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that the eyes of history are on all of us. We ask that you push for all the change we need and protections we deserve and make history doing it. If you are not able to get all the way there, we ask that you use the power given to you by us, the membership, and join the WGA on the picket lines. For our union and its future, this is our moment. We hope that, on our behalf, you will meet that moment and not miss it.”