The Hollywood actors’ union reached a tentative deal with movie studios Wednesday, ending a historic four-month strike that completely froze the film and television industries.
The new SAG-AFTRA agreement includes a pay raise for members and key protections against artificial intelligence, among other wins.
The union and studios have been hammering out the final touches on the deal for days, including a “final offer” from studios last Friday that the union still had problems with. Studios set out a 5 pm Wednesday deadline before that offer would be withdrawn.
The strike, the longest in the union’s history, is set to end at 12:01 am Thursday and send the union’s more than 160,000 members back to work. Hollywood writers, who began their own strike months before the actors, reached a separate labor agreement in September.
The exact terms of the contract have not been revealed.
Union members must still vote to ratify the agreement before it goes into place, a process that can take weeks. If the membership turns down the deal, negotiations will resume and members will likely return to picket lines.
Much of the negotiations in recent weeks have focused on artificial intelligence, which union members view as a threat to their living. The last round of negotiations began in mid-October following a multiweek break.
Between the writers’ and actors’ strikes this year, effectively no scripted films or television shows have been in production since May. A small number of independent projects were allowed to continue despite the labor disputes.