Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence and More SAG Actors Threaten to Strike

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In a letter signed by more than 300 actors, members of the Screen Actors Guild say they’re ready to strike.

More strikes could be on the way for Hollywood. According to a new report from Rolling Stone, more than 300 members of the Screen Actors Guild, including Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence, are threatening to strike should an agreement on a new contract with major Hollywood studios, streamers, and production companies not be reached.

The letter, addressed to the SAG-AFTRA Leadership and Negotiating Committee was allegedly sent to leadership expressing their concern with the idea that "SAG-AFTRA members may be ready to make sacrifices that leadership is not."

"We hope you’ve heard the message from us: This is an unprecedented inflection point in our industry, and what might be considered a good deal in any other years is simply not enough," the letter, obtained by Rolling Stone, says. "We feel that our wages, our craft, our creative freedom, and the power of our union have all been undermined in the last decade. We need to reverse those trajectories."

In addition to Streep and Lawrence, other A-listers who signed off on the letter include, Rami Malek, Quinta Brunson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ben Stiller, Neil Patrick Harris, Amy Schumer, and Amy Poehler.

While SAG-AFTRA declined to comment on the matter, a source close to an actor who signed this letter confirmed to ET the Rolling Stone quotes are correct and that it was sent to the union.

The letter comes after it was reported earlier this month that members of SAG-AFTRA have voted to authorize a strike if their negotiating committee doesn't reach an agreement on the new contract by June 30. 

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher released a video message this week with an update on the negotiations, telling members, "We are having an [sic] extremely productive negotiations that are laser-focused on all of the crucial issues you told us are most important to you. We're standing strong and we are going to achieve a seminal deal."

Just days away from the June 30 deadline, everyone who signed the letter says they’re "prepared to strike if it comes to that."

As for the issues up for negation? The members listed several of importance, including minimum pay, residuals that consider the growth of streaming, healthcare, pensions, and regulation around how self-tapes are used in the casting process.

The letter also calls out members' fears and concerns around the use of artificial intelligence, adding, "We do not believe that SAG-AFTRA members can afford to make halfway gains in anticipation that more will be coming in three years, and we think it is absolutely vital that this negotiation protects not just our likenesses, but makes sure we are well compensated when any of our work is used to train AI."

The letter continues, "We want you to know that we would rather go on strike than compromise on these fundamental points, and we believe that, if we settle for a less than transformative deal, the future of our union and our craft will be undermined, and SAG-AFTRA will enter the next negotiation with drastically reduced leverage."

The actors ended the letter by pushing for change, adding that they were ready to go with the Writers Guild of America on the picket lines to fight for their union. The Writers Guild of America went on strike in May after they failed to negotiate a deal with Hollywood studios and continue to fight to reach an agreement.

"If you are not able to get all the way there, we ask that you use the power given to you by us, the membership, and join the WGA on the picket lines. For our union and its future, this is our moment," the letter says in conclusion. "We hope that, on our behalf, you will meet that moment and not miss it."