- The latest talks between the striking actors’ union and the studio representatives have ended without much progress.
- The actors are seeking a similar new deal to what the writers recently secured, albeit with their own extra points.
- Studio representative body the AMPTP claims that the gap between the parties is “too great” right now.
Just when it looked like there was hope for an end to the actors’ strike following the resolution of the writers’ industrial action (the new contract for writers was officially ratified by 99% of the WGA membership on Monday), some cold water was thrown by news yesterday that performers’ union SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers that represents studios were “too far apart” on talks for their own deal.
The actors have now been officially on strike since July 14th, essentially bringing Hollywood production in the States and elsewhere in the world to a standstill with the impact felt in shut down movies, delayed release dates and a shaken-up TV schedule, networks filling fall slots with reality shows and series that had already been in production.
And, as has been the case throughout the strike, the two sides are waging a war of words to present their side of negotiations.
SAG-AFTRA’s statement on the talks progress
Here’s what SAG-AFTRA’s leadership told members in its latest release:
“We have negotiated with them in good faith, despite the fact that last week they presented an offer that was, shockingly, worth less than they proposed before the strike began. These companies refuse to protect performers from being replaced by AI, they refuse to increase your wages to keep up with inflation, and they refuse to share a tiny portion of the immense revenue YOUR work generates for them. The companies are using the same failed strategy they tried to inflict on the WGA –– putting out misleading information in an attempt to fool our members into abandoning our solidarity and putting pressure on our negotiators. But, just like the writers, our members are smarter than that and will not be fooled.”
The actors’ union has been pushing for various new deal points, including protection against the use of AI to replace some performers and an 11% increase in minimum payments (by comparison, both the Directors Guild and the writers secured 5).
AMPTP put out its own statement on the talks
The alliance offered its usual publicity blast to explain its side of the matter:
“SAG-AFTRA’s current offer included what it characterized as a viewership bonus that, by itself, would cost more than $800 million per year – which would create an untenable economic burden. SAG-AFTRA presented few, if any, moves on the numerous remaining open items. After meaningful conversations, it is clear that the gap between the AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA is too great, and conversations are no longer moving us in a productive direction.”
We would expect this back-and-forth to continue for some time, with little forward movement (and it feels like the studios are once more the main sticking point). So, if you were hoping that your favorite show or that movie you were anticipating would be back on the schedule soon, we’d say patience is a virtue.