(KTLA) — The union representing hundreds of film and television actors has agreed in principle to a deal with the motion picture studios, signaling the coming end of a four-month strike that brought the industry to a standstill.
According to an email sent to members Wednesday evening, the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee approved a tentative deal with the major film studios.
The three-year contract agreement must be approved by votes from the union’s board and its members in the coming days, but the leadership declared the strike will end at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday.
The total value of the contract totals more than $1 billion, the negotiating committee says, with increased pay for members, increased residual payments related to streaming content and better health and pension benefits.
The studios and Hollywood’s actors union also appear to have come to an agreement regarding the use of artificial intelligence in the creation of media, a major sticking point throughout the duration of negotiations.
SAG-AFTRA said details would be made public after a meeting on Friday where board members review the contract.
More than 60,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Performers went on strike July 14, joining screenwriters who had walked off the job more than two months earlier. It was the first time the two unions had been on strike together since 1960. Studios chose to negotiate with the writers first, striking a deal that their leadership marked as a major win and bringing their strike to an end on Sept. 26.
The agreement comes during a critical moment in the industry, with several projects up in the air and the future of some television and film productions hanging in the balance.
The negotiations have been ongoing for months, but intensified in recent days. Just last week, the studios presented what they were calling their “best and final” offer. Some actors voiced their displeasure with the terms of this offer and the union took several days to offer a response.
It’s unclear if the two sides have been meeting to iron out the specifics, but statements from SAF-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) are expected soon.
Disney CEO Bob Iger, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, NBC Studios head Donna Langley and Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav were among those negotiating on behalf of the film studios, while SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher and the union’s chief negotiator fought for the hundreds of actors the union represents.
Although the writers’ strike had immediate, visible effects on viewers, including the months-long suspension of late-night talk shows and “ Saturday Night Live,” the impact of the actors’ absence was not as immediately apparent. But its ripple effects — delayed release dates and waits for new show seasons — could be felt for months or even years.
Actors could quickly return to movie sets where productions were paused, including “Deadpool 3,” “Gladiator 2” and “Wicked.” Other movies and shows will restart shooting once returning writers finish scripts.
And beyond scripted productions, the end of the strike would fully free actors to return to red carpets, talk shows and podcasts, as Hollywood’s awards season approaches.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.