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SAG actors are striking but there are still projects they can work on. Here are the rules of the strike.

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher on strike
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher​ says actors' union is being stonewalled amid strike 06:40

Hollywood actors joined writers on strike earlier this month after negotiations between their union, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and major studios hit a wall. 

The union, commonly called SAG-AFTRA, has more than 160,000 members, but the strike only affects the 65,000 actors in the union. The actors overwhelmingly voted to authorize the strike, which has halted most film and TV production. Here are the rules of the strike.

"All covered services and performing work under the tv/theatrical contracts must be withheld," SAG-AFTRA told members in a letter on July 13. This includes on-camera work like singing, acting, dancing, stunts, piloting on-camera aircraft, puppeteering and performance capture or motion capture work. It also affects off-camera work like narration or voice-overs, background work and even auditioning.

Publicity work that was under contract is also being halted, so many actors are not doing interviews, attending premieres and expos or even promoting work on social media. 

The strike was authorized after SAG-AFTRA leaders' negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers hit a snag, mainly over the use of artificial intelligence as well as residual pay for actors. 

The alliance, known as AMPTP, represents major studios and distributors in the negotiations, including Amazon/MGM, Apple, Disney/ABC/Fox, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount/CBS, Sony, Warner Bros. and Discovery (HBO), according to SAG-AFTRA.

SAG-AFTRA advised its members not to participate in AMPTP productions or audition for productions by these struck companies, but they can work on independent films and there are a variety of other gigs they can do. 

The union has created interim contracts for actors working on independent productions and 39 productions have signed that agreement so far.

Actors can also participate in student films being made in connection with a student's coursework at accredited educational institutions, according to a list put out by SAG-AFTRA.

In 2022, SAG-AFTRA voted to ratify a National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting, also known as the Network Code, which is a contract for actors appearing on network shows like soap operas, variety shows, talk shows, reality shows and game shows. Even during the strike, actors can still participate in these shows because they have different contracts. 

They can also uphold other contracts for gigs like voice work in video games, animated TV shows, audiobooks and dubbing for foreign language projects. They can still do commercials, live entertainment and podcasts.

In addition to screen actors, SAG-AFTRA's 160,000 members are made up of broadcast journalists, announcers, hosts and stunt performers, but only the actors' contracts are in question. Some CBS News staff are SAG-AFTRA members, but their contract is not affected by the strike.

Some social media influencers are also represented by SAG, and while they can still post most promotions, the union says they "should not accept any new work for promotion of struck companies or their content," unless they were already under contract before the strike. 

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