Dateline, November 9th, 2023
Hooray! The actors strike is over! One of the “longest strikes in Hollywood’s history” ended at one minute past midnight November 9th, 2023 — after what amounted to months of negotiation between the actors union and Hollywood studios. ’Twas Thankful indeed that members have arrived at a contract that will enable SAG-AFTRA members from every category to build sustainable careers. Leaders of the Screen Actors Guild — American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) characterized the deal as a big win, with the contract achieving significant breakthroughs on actors’ pay and putting guardrails on the industry’s use of generative AI. And it couldn’t have been more thankful or timely with Thanksgiving around the corner.
“Few holidays are identified as closely with a family gathering as Thanksgiving is. And this year, after months in the trenches on the picket lines, it feels like our SAG-AFTRA family has drawn closer than ever.” said Fran Drescher, President along with Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, National Executive Director & Chief Negotiator.
On Thursday, a tentative agreement was reached between AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA which resulted in the end of their strike. However there still needs a majority of union members to ratify the contract agreement around Dec 5th. Many people were left wondering when the SAG-AFTRA strike would end after the Writer’s Guild ended their strike back in September. The SAG-AFTRA strike lasted for 118 days, starting on Jul. 14 and ending on Nov. 9. A contract was made and is valued at over one billion dollars.
According to the SAG-AFTRA website, the deal they reached was extraordinary and it seems actors got most of what they wanted. “…We have achieved a deal of extraordinary scope that includes ‘above-pattern’ minimum compensation increases, unprecedented provisions for consent and compensation that will protect members from the threat of AI, and for the first time establishing a streaming participation bonus. Our Pension & Health caps have been substantially raised, which will bring much needed value to our plans.
In addition, the deal includes numerous improvements for multiple categories including outsize compensation increases for background performers, and critical contract provisions protecting diverse communities,” said TV/TH Negotiating Committee in an address. The contract allows members of the present and future to have a more sustainable career in the industry. We have much to be Thankful for this Thanksgiving.
With a nod to the season of Thanks and to the artist, actor, comedian, and super inventive dude who played the nerdy wack-a-doodle kid in a tight fitting plaid prom suit, complete with red bow >< tie~Pee Wee Herman…we pay tribute to Paul Reubens. Paul died at age 70 on July 30 this past year due to acute myelogenous leukemia.
Also, paying tribute on Instagram at the time of Paul Reubens death, was Weird Al Yankovic, who said: “What a dear, sweet man. He was always so lovely to me and my family, and we’re all so enormously sad today.”
“The world lost an icon, and I lost an old friend. We love you, Paul.” Eric Appel, who directed the movie Weird the Al Yankovic biopic, and thinking about a biopic on Reubens, was asked who he wanted to play Paul. Eric said he would like to get actor Jorma Taccone to take on the role.
He had previously starred as the Pee-wee Herman character in WEIRD and is one-third of the sketch comedy troupe The Lonely Island, with childhood friends Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer. Below, we pay tribute to Paul with a not-too-shabby rendition of Mr. Wee’s voice on IFC’s Thanksgiving promo.
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