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  • Writer's pictureKalenah Arif

The SAG-AFTRA Strike Is Over But Its Effects Will Continue To Be Felt

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

Following a grueling 118-day strike by the actors' guild, a tentative contract agreement was reached between SAG-AFTRA and the studios on Wednesday. This development paves the way for the potential revival of Hollywood in just a matter of weeks.

The strike officially concluded at 12:01 a.m. PT on Thursday, November 9, putting an end to over seven months of labor strife in the entertainment industry. Notably, this period witnessed both the Writers Guild and SAG-AFTRA engaging in a joint strike for the first time in more than six decades.

Details of the agreement are expected to be shared on Friday.

This comes almost a month after the Writers Guild finalized their agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

AMPTP conveyed to SAG-AFTRA that a deal needed to be reached by 5 p.m. PT on Nov. 8th, or the broadcast season and the 2024 summer movie slate would be in jeopardy of not being saved.

So although the conclusion of the SAG-AFTRA strike is indeed a positive development, officials at The Entertainment Community Fund (formerly known as The Actors Fund) are cautioning that the fallout from the lengthy work stoppage will cast a long shadow over the industry.

Joseph Benincasa, President and CEO of the Entertainment Community Fund, expressed satisfaction with the tentative agreement reached by the SAG-AFTRA TV/Theatrical Committee and the AMPTP.

However, he sounded a note of concern about the enduring repercussions that the work stoppage will have, both on individuals directly affected and the industry as a whole. To date, the Fund has disbursed over $11.2 million to more than 5,200 professionals in the film and television sector.

Benincasa emphasized, "It will take months for the industry to fully rebound, and we urge those in need to reach out to the Fund. We also hope that those who can extend their support will continue to do so."

As a national human services organization, The Entertainment Community Fund concentrates on addressing the well-being of individuals working in the performing arts and entertainment, offering services centered on health, career development, life support, and housing.

In their latest statement, the Fund underscores that, even with the conclusion of both the SAG-AFTRA and earlier WGA strikes, unemployed individuals will face the daunting task of securing new employment or waiting for their previous work to resume. The situation is exacerbated by many who are behind on rent payments and are at risk of eviction.

Additionally, several have lost their health insurance and are grappling with added medical expenses, while others require increased mental health support.

When considering these challenges, coupled with the persisting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is evident that the industry is confronting dire circumstances. A 2023 survey of over 4,000 individuals who sought assistance from the Entertainment Community Fund during the pandemic found that over 50% are still struggling to find employment.

Annette Bening, Chair of the Board of the Entertainment Community Fund, stressed the importance of continued support, remarking, "Even as the strikes have drawn to a close, we are mindful that many will encounter challenges in the weeks and months ahead. We must remain the safety net they require. I encourage everyone who can to lend their support to the Fund, and for those in need of assistance, we stand ready to provide help."

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