“It is historic, and we got so much, so much important stuff,” Drescher said Thursday on CNN, pointing to record raises for some of the lowest-paid background actors, among other wins.
The conclusion of the actors strike ended what had been an unusually protracted labor struggle in Hollywood that began in May when the writers’ union went on strike, followed in July by the actors — a rare dual strike that ground the industry to a halt. The writers reached a deal with the AMPTP in September. Many in Hollywood expected that the actors would quickly follow suit, but they held out for what negotiators insisted was a better deal.
The deal includes provisions to protect members from the threat of AI and, for the first time, a streaming participation bonus. How to deal with AI and how to compensate actors who appear in streaming shows were among the toughest issues holding up conclusion of the deal.
The agreement allows many shows and movies to get right back to filming, even though in many cases, schedules have been disrupted. Some productions, such as Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and “Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse,” have had their release dates delayed. Others, including Nickelodeon’s “iCarly” and ABC’s “Home Economics,” were canceled outright during the strike. Most productions planned for this year are expected to push into the 2024-2025 schedule.
Nevertheless, actors rejoiced over the news that they could start working again and promoting their productions, something that the union prohibited during the strike.
“YES!!! Hallelujah. I can tweet a certain trailer that I am VERY EXCITED ABOUT at midnight,” said Kumail Nanjiani, known for roles in “The Big Sick,” “Eternals” and “Welcome to Chippendales.”
An energetic Ke Huy Quan addressed “Loki” fans on X, formerly Twitter, soon after the strike was over. “Wow, you have no idea how happy I am. I’ve waited a very long time to tell you how thrilled I am to join the Loki family,” he said. “I loved making this show, and I’m so proud of it, and it was such a joy playing Ouroboros. It makes me so happy to know that you all love it as much as I do.”
Octavia Spencer said on Instagram that she was “proud to stand in solidarity with all SAG members over the last 118 days.” “Ready to work now that the strike is over!” she wrote with a string of party-popper emoji.
Daniel Dae Kim, known for roles in “Lost” and “Hawaii Five-O,” posted on X: “Woo hooo!!!! Let’s hope the deal is fair and we can get back to work!”
But despite the celebrations, it will take Hollywood a long time to get back to normal — whatever “normal” may be. The number of shows made this year is expected to plunge dramatically from the approximately 600 made last year, and not just because of the dual strikes. Viewers were increasingly turning a cold shoulder to the gusher of shows from new streaming services trying to catch up with Netflix, and studios and streamers alike are expected to focus on a smaller number of high-quality shows.
Some lesser-known actors said they didn’t know what to expect.
“There’s kind of a weird haze, like waking up from a dream,” said Lenny Jacobson, 49, a longtime union member who has had recurring roles on “Nurse Jackie” and other shows — but doesn’t currently have work.
“I’m excited, I’m grateful, I’m tired. I can’t wait to get back to work, but I’m also being cautiously optimistic and I’m also aware that it’s going to take some time to figure out what our industry looks like,” Jacobson said.
Efren Ramirez, 50, best known for his role as Pedro in “Napoleon Dynamite,” said: “It’s like we’re entering into a blank canvas, and we hope that it all works out in the end for all of us. All of us, not only the studio execs, but all the workers and the audience, because we all love a great movie.”
Many productions, racing to make up for missed time, were eager to get actors back on set.
Highly anticipated TV series and movies such as “Deadpool 3,” “Beetlejuice 2” and “Venom 3” will be among the first projects to resume production, according to Deadline.
“Abbott Elementary” and “Grey’s Anatomy” will ramp up production in late November, Deadline reported, and “All American” and “Grown-ish” plan to resume in early December.
Eric Kripke, creator of “The Boys,” shared production plans for the Prime Video series in an update to his social media followers. “Now that the SAG strike is over (yay), the actors can record additional dialogue,” he said. “No airdate yet, but will be worth the wait. It could be our best season. For sure our craziest.”