SAG-AFTRA and WGA On Strike; What It Means for Netflix

Kasey Moore What's on Netflix Avatar

sag aftra and wga on strike netflix

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JULY 11 – Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

The WGA has been on strike since May and will now be joined by SAG-AFTRA starting July 14th, 2023. This will have a major impact on Netflix’s upcoming slate but, more importantly, on those who work on Netflix shows, movies, and the wider economy. 

Per The Wrap, Hollywood has officially now shut down. Any film and TV productions that weren’t already impacted will now “immediately” shut down.

Two of the biggest unions are now striking following negotiations with the AMPTP (the collective group of streamers, distributors, and studios, including Netflix) collapsed. The Director’s Guild struck a deal in June.

For those unfamiliar, SAG-AFTRA is the union for over 160,000 actors, whereas the WGA represents over 20,000 writers. Without those two groups, show and movie production at the pre-production and production stage cannot move forward.

Fran Drescher announced that SAG-AFTRA will begin their strike at midnight tonight, with actors on the picket line starting Friday.

Among the key issues at play (with both the writers and the actors guild) include:

  • The use of Artificial Intelligence
  • Viewer data sharing
  • Residuals and pay

Responding to the new SAG-AFTRA strike, the AMTP stated that they “presented a deal that offered historic pay and residual increases, substantially higher caps on pension and health contributions, audition protections, shortened series option periods, and a groundbreaking AI proposal that protects actors’ digital likenesses for SAG-AFTRA members,” adding that a strike is “certainly not the outcome we hoped for.”

The WGA also responded to the SAG-AFTRA strike in a Tweet saying:

“We stand behind SAGAFTRA as they begin their strike. The last time our unions struck at the same time, both won landmark provisions on residuals and pension and health funds—this fight is no less transformational.”

What Netflix shows and movies are affected by the strikes?

Any show or movie in early development, active development, and pre-production has been on hold since May. With the dual strike (the first in 60 years), any show planned to begin or is in production will be paused indefinitely.

One way or another, much of Netflix’s upcoming slate has been impacted by strikes thus far and will be further impacted. Titles that have shut down so far include

  • Stranger Things
  • Cobra Kai
  • Big Mouth
  • Emily in Paris
  • That 90s Show
  • Unstable

International productions can still continue, but any actor part of the guild will not be able to participate.

Post-production can continue on shows and movies with titles continuing to be released (our view is that Netflix has enough content to survive through the middle of 2024), but any reshoots needed cannot occur.

In addition, we’ll also see no actors taking part in the press for any show or movie that has been completed and is set to release on Netflix. That includes any Emmy campaigning following the nominations announced yesterday.

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Founder of What's on Netflix, Kasey has been tracking the comings and goings of the Netflix library for over a decade. Covering everything from new movies, series and games from around the world, Kasey is in charge of covering breaking news, covering all the new additions now available on Netflix and what's coming next.