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Emmys Postponed Due to Hollywood Strikes: What SAG-AFTRA Strikes Mean for the Future of Hollywood


On the 10th of August, the 75th Emmy Awards, originally planned to be held on September 18, 2023, was postponed to January 15, 2024, due to the ongoing strikes in Hollywood. With Writers Guild of America strikes going on since May, there have already been hesitations regarding the award ceremonies. Now, after nearly one month since the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike, a delay in the Emmys is not a surprise— it is an indicator of just how determined the writers and actors are to continue the strike. With ongoing strikes, critics expect the strike to last all fall and cause a delay in many shows.


What is the purpose of SAG-AFTRA strikes?

On July 13, the SAG-AFTRA strike was called by the US union SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists). The strike started after the failed negotiations between AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) and SAG-AFTRA. The main purpose is to raise voices for fair payments and improved work conditions as well as consent rights concerning artificial intelligence.


AMPTP represents TV production companies which include Amazon, Apple, Disney/ABC/Fox, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Sony, Warner Bros. Discovery (HBO), and many more. Although the production companies earn multi-billion dollars yearly, the alliance rejected the bare-minimum demands of the SAG-AFTRA union and prioritized the gain of their shareholders. One of the biggest issues is the low wages of the actors despite the increasing inflation rates. SAG-AFTRA demands an 11% general wage increase in year 1, needed for performers to recover from record-high inflation. However, the AMPTP offers a 5% increase which it says is “historic by any measure”. It may seem as if actors are making millions every year, but A-list celebrities are not the main focus here. Rather, the strike wants to become the voice of background performers.


How do the strikes affect the award ceremonies?

Emmy Awards are not the only ceremony that faced a change. The Tony Awards were physically held on June 11 despite the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike. The award ceremony was held without any scripts due to the absence of writers. Another award ceremony held this summer was the Television Critics Association Awards. Unlike Tony Awards, the TCA Awards were not held physically as the winners got announced without any ceremony. Finally, as of the 10th of July, it has been made official that the Emmy Awards will be held on January 15, 2024, postponed for 4 months. Nominations for the Emmy Awards were announced one day before the commencement of the SAG-AFTRA strikes on the 12th of July. Therefore, for now, the only celebration that can be done is for the nominees. As the strikes forbid the actors from attending any award ceremonies, more ceremonies will likely be delayed.


What Does the Delay of Emmy Awards Mean for the Television Industry?

Emmys' delay signals that both the WGA and the SAG-AFTRA strikes should be taken seriously. It is expected that more festivals will be postponed, especially the autumn festivals such as Venice, Telluride, and Toronto. More importantly, the award ceremonies are just the tip of the iceberg. More TV shows are expected to be paused for new seasons and even stop production. The writers’ strike has already shut down production on several TV shows including “Severance”, “Stranger Things”, and “Saturday Night Live”. In addition, many late-night shows have paused production including NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”. Due to the strike, no actor part of the SAG-AFTRA union will be able to appear in any shows unless the production company is outside of the AMPTP and agrees with the union’s terms. Therefore, it is expected that the TV shows of the next season will face a significant hit. All in all, the strike has already been showing its effect with the delay of the award shows and cancellations of movie promotions. The determination of the strikes spread the message that strikes will likely force the studios to return to the table and agree to the terms of the union.


Works Cited:

Pulver , Andrew, and Catherine Shoard. “The Hollywood Actors’ Strike: Everything You Need to Know.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 14 July 2023.

“Why We Strike: SAG-Aftra Strike.” SAG-AFTRA, Accessed 17 Aug. 2023.

Images:

New York Times, Actors’ Strike Won’t Halt 39 Independent Projects, Union Says.

Time, How the SAG-AFTRA Strike Affects TV and Movies.

Getty Images.



Written by: Defne Taykurt

Edited by: Simay Cemre Tülübaş




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