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Hollywood actors strike looms as union announces no deal was reached by deadline

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists announced Thursday that no deal was reached with studios and streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon.

No deal has been reached between studios and streaming services, union leaders representing film and television actors said Thursday. They will now vote on whether to strike.

On Thursday, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists announced that its deadline for negotiations to conclude had ended without a contract and said it could decide to join already striking screenwriters. A decision would be made during a leadership meeting later in the day, it said.

A strike would be the first since 1960, when actors and writers picketed film and television productions.

"The companies have refused to meaningfully engage on some topics and on others completely stonewalled us. Until they do negotiate in good faith, we cannot begin to reach a deal," said Fran Drescher, the actors' guild president.

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The Actors' guild statement came hours after this year's Emmy nominations were announced.

It previously authorized a strike by a nearly 98% margin.

The actors could choose to formally join screenwriters, who are already forming picket lines outside studios and streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon in a bid to get better terms.

Members of the Writers Guild of America have been on strike since early May. This has impacted the production of film and television series.

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At the center of negotiations are concerns about the unregulated use of artificial intelligence and the effects on actors' pay prompted by the new streaming ecosystem.

Actors have joined writers on picket lines for weeks in solidarity, but an official actors' strike would prevent performers from working on sets or promoting their projects.

Matt Damon said Wednesday that everyone was hoping a strike could be averted, but said many actors need a fair contract to survive.

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"We ought to protect the people who are kind of on the margins," Damon told The Associated Press. "And 26,000 bucks a year is what you have to make to get your health insurance. And there are a lot of people whose residual payments are what carry them across that threshold. And if those residual payments dry up, so does their health care. And that’s absolutely unacceptable. We can’t have that. So, we got to figure out something that is fair."

Oscar-winner Jessica Chastain, who was nominated for her first Emmy Award on Wednesday told the AP, expressed support for actors and said that "people need to be paid fairly."

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"People are standing up and saying, ‘This doesn’t really work, and people need to be paid fairly,’" Chastain said. "It is very clear that there are certain streamers that have really kind of changed the way we work and the way that we have worked, and the contracts really haven’t caught up to the innovation that’s happened."

The looming strike has cast a shadow over the upcoming 75th Emmy Awards. Nominations were announced Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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