SAG-AFTRA & Studios Agree to Extend Contract Talks to July

Friday, June 30 was meant to be the cutoff date for negotiations between Hollywood studios and SAG-AFTRA. Had a deal not been struck by then, the actors guild was going to join the WGA’s strike efforts in a more official capacity. But much like what recently happened with the DGA, actors have gotten something of a reprieve just hours before the midnight deadline.

Now, conversations between the two parties will continue all the way through July 12. SAG-AFTRA alerted its union members on Friday evening, saying leadership agreed to extend talks “in order to exhaust every opportunity to achieve the righteous contract we all demand and deserve.” The two sides have been in discussions since early June, with actors guildmembers advocating for extensive protections against AI, more residuals from streaming, and protection for its pension and health plans. Both parties are reportedly planning to talk again at some point during Saturday, July 1, and may possibly pick things back up again after the Fourth of July comes to pass.

In the meantime, it’s said that projects that are presently filming are good to continue until 11:59 PM on the new expiration date. If an agreement isn’t reached by that time on July 12, the union can still call in a strike—and earlier in the week, stars such as Quinta Brunson, Rami Malek, and more made it clear they’re more than ready to strike. Speaking to the 160,000 performers that make up the union, SAG-AFTRA leadership said its members “should mistake this extension for weakness. We see you. We hear you. We are you.”

Actors going on strike would affect productions both in the US and internationally. (At least for big studio projects; smaller low budget and independent fair could potentially be exempt from this with permission to continue production.) Variety noted that the last time SAG-AFTRA went on strike was back in 1980 over residuals (similar to now), which lasted 94 days.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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