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Hollywood actors union ratifies three-year contract after strike

By Danielle Broadway and Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Members of the SAG-AFTRA actors union approved a three-year contract with major studios on Tuesday, formally ending six months of Hollywood labor disputes that halted film and television production.

SAG-AFTRA said 78% of those who voted supported the deal with Netflix Inc, Walt Disney Co and other members of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

The agreement provides for pay raises, streaming bonuses and guardrails around the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in filmmaking.

SAG-AFTRA members walked off the job in July and reached a tentative agreement with major studios in November. Actors started returning to work immediately after the preliminary deal.

Film and television writers also went on strike this year, walking out ahead of the actors union. After a five-month walkout, the writers approved a new contract in October with 99% of the vote.

Some actors had complained that the contract did not provide enough protection from AI. The deal requires studios to obtain permission from celebrities to use their digital likenesses and to pay them for the use. Critics argue that the language allows creation of "synthetic performers" that could eliminate the need for many human actors.

The dual strikes shut down a large swath of film and TV production, halted late-night talk shows and forced broadcast networks to fill their fall schedules with repeats and reality shows. Major movies including "Dune: Part Two" and Marvel's "Thunderbolts" also were delayed. (Reporting by Danielle Broadway and Lisa Richwine; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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