On Thursday, SAG-AFTRA provided its response to the major studios’ latest proposal, as both parties make headway in their efforts to conclude the actors’ strike.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Friday is scheduled for the resumption of talks by both parties. They are both aiming to avoid another breakdown in negotiations, and each has a strong motivation to reach an agreement.
The studios have issued warnings that next year’s summer blockbuster movies may experience delays and TV shows may be canceled if no deal is reached in the coming weeks. The union sees this as an unfounded threat but is also grappling with increasing anxiety among its high-profile members.
On Thursday, SAG-AFTRA reduced its demand for a first-year increase in minimum rates from 11% to 9%. This aligns closely with the studio’s position, which is 7%.
Nevertheless, some have cautioned against excessive optimism.
A source from the studio stated, “No resolutions were reached.”
A spokesperson from SAG-AFTRA also issued a concise statement.
“SAG-AFTRA has declined to comment due to our ongoing negotiations and our unwavering commitment to negotiating in good faith to secure a fair agreement for SAG-AFTRA members,” the spokesperson said.
There are still discrepancies between the two parties on various other issues, including Artificial Intelligence. Some progress has been made in that area, although SAG-AFTRA continues to insist on having the power to veto the use of AI in creating digital replicas.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers has agreed to seek consent from the cast – although the exact details remain uncertain – but has drawn the line at giving the union the power to veto.
There are also several unresolved issues that have received less attention and may require significant time to resolve.
The latest proposals from the CEOs of four major entertainment companies – Disney, Netflix, NBCUniversal, and Warner Bros. Discovery – were released on Tuesday.
The union, led by Fran Drescher, has advocated for a revenue cut of 57 cents per global subscriber from each platform, which would generate approximately $500 million per year.
The studio rejected this, deeming it “untenable,” and instead offered increased bonuses for the most-watched shows.
AMPTP also offered to raise the minimum rates by 7% on Tuesday. The studio coalition had previously insisted on 5%, a figure aligned with the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America.
A 7% increase would “deviate from the established norm,” allowing SAG-AFTRA leadership to demonstrate to members that their months spent on strike were worthwhile.
On Tuesday, the two parties spent a significant amount of time debating the total value of the studio’s offer. The studio estimates it to be worth approximately $1.3 billion over three years. However, SAG-AFTRA argues that these numbers are inflated since high-level performers do not work at minimum rates and therefore, would not see an increase. SAG-AFTRA asserts that the actual value is closer to $800 million.
SAG-AFTRA has long pursued an increase in the minimum to 11%, stating that anything less would not keep up with inflation.