Now Hollywood's largest actors' union SAG-AFTRA votes to strike if talks over ... trends now
Hollywood's actors union voted in favor of a strike if talks over higher pay break down before the end of June, increasing pressure on major film and television studios already dealing with an ongoing work stoppage by writers.
After voting closed on Monday, SAG-AFTRA said 97.91 percent of ballots cast supported a strike. Nearly 65,000 members, about 48 percent of the total membership, voted.
Membership of the union is compulsory for all professional actors that work on major US productions, since almost all studios and producers are engaged in union contracts that only allow them to hire union members.
Though members include people from all walks of life, famous actors and actresses to have spoken about how they were first issued SAG cards include Jennifer Lawrence, Neil Patrick Harris and Anne Hathaway.
The decision to strike worsens the climate in Hollywood, where studios face issues with writers and directors too. On Sunday studios likely averted a second work stoppage by reaching a tentative deal with the Directors Guild of America (DGA).
Hollywood's actors union voted in favor of a strike if talks over higher pay break down before the end of June, increasing pressure on major film and television studios already dealing with an ongoing work stoppage by writers (pictured on May 8)
Jennifer Lawrence (left) has said the day she got her SAG card, aged 14, was the best day of her life. Anne Hathaway (right) was similarly 14 when she became a member of the union
Neil Patrick Harris (left) said he became a union member after working on the TV show Throb. Amanda Seyfried (right) is seen attending the premiere of 'The Crowded Room' at the Museum of Modern Art on June 1
Members of the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists include actors, broadcast journalists, announcers, hosts and stunt performers.
'Bravo SAG-AFTRA. We are in it to win it,' Fran Drescher, the union's president, said in a statement after the vote. She had previously been spotted at writer's guild picket lines in solidarity.
Talks between the 160,000-member actors union, Hollywood's largest, and the major studios are scheduled to start on Wednesday and would need to be wrapped up and settled before their current deal expires on June 30.
Key issues for actors include their base pay, which they say has been hit by inflation and streaming, the threat of AI, benefits, and the requirement on them to self-tape auditions - the cost of which used to be the responsibility of casting and production.
For many members joining the union marked the onset of their professional careers - an occasion of sentimental importance.
'I got my SAG card when I was 14,' Anne Hathaway said while collecting an Oscar for outstanding supporting actress for her performance in Les Misérables in 2013.