Hollywood actors union votes to authorize strike

STORY: Hollywood's actors union has voted to authorize a strike if contract talks with major studios break down.

Film and TV studios are already grappling with a monthlong work stoppage by writers that has disrupted late-night shows and shut down high-profile projects...

...the Screen Actors Guild vote intensifies that pressure.

SAG-AFTRA member Evan Shafran sees the actors and writers as two sides of the same coin.

[Evan Shafran / SAG-AFTRA member]

"Without the writers and the actors, there's no story and there's no-one to bring the story to life and so we're very much a collaborative effort out here."

The actor's union said around 98% of ballots cast by nearly 65,000 members in a Monday vote supported the strike if no deal is reached.

Talks between major studios and the union, Hollywood's largest, are set to start on Wednesday.

Actors are seeking higher pay and safeguards against unauthorized use of their images through artificial intelligence. Their current deal expires June 30.

An actor's strike would lead to broader shutdowns across Hollywood as studios struggle to generate programming for streaming services and the fall broadcast TV season.

The association representing studios including Walt Disney and Netflix, said quote "we are approaching these negotiations with the goal of achieving a new agreement that is beneficial to SAG-AFTRA members and the industry overall."

Meanwhile, negotiations between the studios and the striking Writers Guild of America are at a standstill.

Over the weekend, the studios were likely able to avoid another strike by reaching a tentative pact with the Directors Guild of America (DGA).

Directors guild members are expected to ratify that deal in coming weeks.