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‘Hollywood breathing a collective sigh of relief’ as actors strike ends

Hollywood actors reached a tentative agreement with studios on Wednesday to end its 118-day strike — the longest in its history.

Shares of major studios like Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), Netflix (NFLX), and Comcast (CMCSA), which owns NBCUniversal, traded flat on the news. Paramount (PARA) jumped about 2% while Disney (DIS), which just reported strong earnings, climbed roughly 7% higher.

The details of the deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which bargains on behalf of the major studios including Warner Bros., Disney, Netflix, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), and Sony (SONY), have not yet been released. The three-year agreement now heads to the union’s board for approval.

Similar to the writers, which officially ended their strike in October after nearly 150 days, SAG-AFTRA — the union that represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, recording artists, and other media professionals around the world — had been fighting for more protections surrounding the role of artificial intelligence in media and entertainment in addition to better pay and higher streaming residuals as more movies and TV shows go directly to streaming.

In a statement, the union said the contract is valued at over $1 billion and 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 establishes a streaming participation bonus.”

Pension and health caps have also been “substantially raised,” along with an “outsize compensation increase for background performers, and critical contract provisions protecting diverse communities.

“Hollywood is breathing a collective sigh of relief, having reached resolution on the writers and actors strike,” said Scott Purdy, KPMG’s US national media leader. “Protections regarding the use of artificial intelligence will undoubtedly be precedent-setting for the creative industry.”

The “double whammy” work stoppage cost the LA economy an estimated $6.5 billion. That includes the loss of roughly 45,000 entertainment industry jobs.

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