Just four days post the conclusion of the SAG-AFTRA strike, Netflix graciously unfurled the azure carpet for Hollywood’s initial major studio production premiere after the hiatus, featuring the stellar ensemble of talent from Season 6 of the streaming giant’s acclaimed British royal saga, The Crown.
Ted Sarandos, the Co-CEO of Netflix, found himself amidst the buzz, savoring the moment. A pivotal figure in brokering deals with both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA, Sarandos expressed his exhilaration about being part of the first grand studio premiere in over six months, involving actors and writers alike. “It’s a thrill,” he shared with Deadline. “I haven’t been out in months, so this is my first night out too. It’s great.”
Reflecting on the resolution of the SAG-AFTRA strike, Sarandos shared his sentiments publicly for the first time, stating, “Just thrilled to be back and thrilled to have everybody back.”
This marked a much-needed respite for Sarandos, who, alongside industry heavyweights like Disney CEO Bob Iger, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, and NBCUniversal Studio Group Chairman Donna Langley, engaged in marathon negotiations leading to the agreement after weeks of deliberation.
When questioned about his satisfaction with the agreement and its culmination, Sarandos affirmed, “Yes, definitely.”
Following the tentative agreement between SAG-AFTRA and the studios, the guild promptly called off the strike, prompting a swift return to film and TV productions, now racing to resume filming.
The SAG-AFTRA national board endorsed the deal with an 86% approval (though not unanimous), setting the stage for member ratification. On this, Sarandos expressed optimism, stating, “I hope so. It’s all in front of the members now, so it’s up to them to ratify it.”
Amidst the glitz of the premiere, Sarandos, accompanied by Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Bela Bajaria, relished the occasion. This glamorous event marked a departure from months dominated by fan-centric affairs that studios resorted to during the strikes. A parade of notable cast members, including Elizabeth Debicki, Jonathan Pryce, and Khalid Abdala, graced the occasion. Sarandos, embodying his role, traversed the carpet, exchanging pleasantries, and capturing moments with talent, even pausing to snap pictures of the showcased Season 6 costumes on his phone.