Hollywood actors go on strike

The Screen Actors Guild has gone on strike, marking the start of the largest shutdown Hollywood has seen in 40 years.

The union wants streaming giants to agree to a fairer split of profits and better working conditions.

The strike means that 160,000 performers will stop work immediately.

Stars Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt left the Oppenheimer premiere as the strike began, according to director Christopher Nolan.

The union is also asking for a guarantee that artificial intelligence and computer-generated faces and voices will not be used to replace actors.

On Wednesday, the union – officially known as the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, or SAG-AFTRA – announced that it was unable to come to an agreement with major studios.

Its negotiating committee voted unanimously to recommend strike action. It means the vast majority of US film and TV productions will stop production.

SAG members will be on the picket line on Friday morning, the union’s national executive director and chief negotiator, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, said.

He added that the strike “is an instrument of last resort”.

The group representing the studios, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, or AMPTP, said that “a strike is certainly not the outcome we hoped for as studios cannot operate without the performers that bring our TV shows and films to life”.

“The union has regrettably chosen a path that will lead to financial hardship for countless thousands of people who depend on the industry,” its statement added. (BBC)

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