No Hollywood actor contract deals, voting will be held Thursday morning

ANGEL — A union representing film and television actors said no agreement had been reached with studios and streaming services and its leadership would vote on whether to strike later Thursday.

The Screen Actors Guild – The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists said early Thursday that its decision whether to join forces with an already striking screenwriter would be weighed by leadership at a meeting Thursday night.

If the actors go on strike, it will be the first time since the 1960s that actors and writers are on the fence on film and television production.

The actors' union released a statement early Thursday announcing that the deadline for finalizing negotiations had expired without a contract. The statement came hours after this year's Emmy nominations, which recognize the best in television, were announced.

“Companies have refused to engage meaningfully on some topics and others have completely stood in our way. Until they negotiate in good faith, we can't begin to reach an agreement,” said Fran Drescher, star of “The Nanny” who is now president of the actors' guild. . There was no immediate word from the studio's negotiating group.

The actors' union had previously authorized the strike by a margin of nearly 98%.

If the actors go on strike, they'll officially join screenwriters in the picket trail outside studios and filming locations to get better terms from studios and streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon.

Members of the Writers Guild of America have been on strike since early May, slowing production of films and television series on the coast and in production hubs such as Atlanta.

Issues in the negotiations include the unregulated use of artificial intelligence and the effect on residual payments brought about by the emerging streaming ecosystem in recent years.

Actors have joined writers on picket lines for weeks in solidarity. The actors' strike would prevent artists from working on sets or promoting their projects.

Whether the cast of Christopher Nolan's “Oppenheimer” attends Thursday's London premiere hangs in the balance over whether the actors strike out.

Attending a photo event on Wednesday, star Matt Damon said that while everyone hopes the strike can be avoided, many actors need fair contracts to survive.

“We have to protect marginalized people,” Damon told The Associated Press. “And 26,000 dollars a year is what you have to make to get your health insurance. And there are a lot of people whose residual payments take them over that threshold. And if those residual payments dry up, so will their health care. And it really can't be accepted. We can't have it. So we have to think of something fair.”

The looming strike has overshadowed the upcoming 75th Emmys. The nominations were announced on Wednesday, and the strike is on the minds of many hopefuls.

“People are standing up and saying, ‘This isn't really working, and people should be paid fairly,'” Oscar winner Jessica Chastain, who was nominated for her first Emmy Award on Wednesday for playing Tammy Wynette in “George & Tammy,” said the AP. “It's very clear that there are certain streamers that have really changed the way we work and the way we work, and contracts are just completely out of step with the innovation that's happening. .”