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First UK industry reaction to SAG/AFTRA agreement: This news is a great relief

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Source: Edna Leshowitz/ZUMA Press Wire/Shutterstock

Members of SAG-AFTRA picket outside of NBC Universal at Rockefeller Center on second day of strike.

UK unions and industry bodies are celebrating the tentative deal that has been reached between SAG-AFTRA and the studios and streamers, as word came in overnight that the 118-day US actors’ strike had reached its end.

While the strike concerned members of the US actors’ union negotiating on issues such as sufficient payment and safeguarding against artificial intelligence (AI), it had a colossal impact on the UK industry, with major US studio and streamer productions grinding to a halt leaving thousands of below-the-line crew out of work.

UK productions that were shuttered and are expected to start back up shooting again soon include How To Train Your Dragon (shooting in Northern Ireland’s Titanic Studios), Deadpool 3 (shooting at Pinewood Studios, with Ryan Reynolds confirming on X this morning a release date of summer 2024) and Wicked (shooting at Sky Studios Elstree).

Productions that paused mid-cycle are expected to start back up again quickly having been actively planning since the end of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike in October. The UK production boom will likely begin after Christmas. We are delighted to hear this news, after a difficult time for our members and the entire UK film and television industry. The UK film and television workers have suffered greatly because the AMPTP failed to reach an agreement with SAG AFTRA. This news will come as a huge relief and provide some hope after months and months of instability.

“Our members are highly skilled, talented professionals and the backbone of our film and TV sector, and we look forward to them getting back to work as soon as possible.”

“A deal being reached and strikes ending is such good news for the industry. Lyndsay Duthie is the CEO of Production Guild of Great Britain. “We are looking forward to reading the full deal, but

we are absolutely thrilled and relieved that UK producers can We know our studio partners have been scenario planning post the WGA strikes ending to enable to productions to start up as soon as we had this news, so we anticipate a busy time ahead.”

Adrian Wootton, CEO of the British Film Commission, said: “Today’s news will bring relief to cast, crews and the wider industry on both sides of the Atlantic. We are thrilled that a fair agreement was reached on such a complex issue set, and we look to restart productions as soon “The UK has a strong relationship with the US. Many major productions are based here, and work with our stellar UK We look forward to building upon that to provide jobs and opportunity for all levels of the UK film and television sector.”[are]

The producers’ trade body Pact said: “Pact is pleased to hear that the SAG/AFTRA Pact’s relationship with Equity, the UK actors’ union, was also discussed. “Pact and Equity recently reached an agreement We also meet with the Union in a constructive and collaborative forum to discuss AI uses.”

Equity told

Screen

that it was waiting to see the full terms of the deal before releasing a comprehensive statement in reaction, but posted on X (formerly Twitter): “We’re pleased to hear that our sister union @sagaftra has approved a tentative agreement with the AMPTP and that the strike has been suspended. We wish @sagaftra all the best in their deliberations on the contents of this agreement. Solidarity to those SAG-AFTRA promised a “deal of extraordinary scope”, which it said was worth more than $1bn.

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