SAG-AFTRA and Studios to Resume Negotiations on Tuesday

The announcement comes on the 100th day of the acting guild’s strike

SAG-AFTRA Strike Talks Studios AMPTP
(Getty Images/Christopher Smith for TheWrap)

The SAG-AFTRA strike has now lasted for 100 days, but the end may be in sight, as the guild announced in a joint statement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on Saturday that contract negotiations will resume on Tuesday.

“SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP will meet for bargaining on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at SAG-AFTRA Plaza. Several executives from AMPTP member companies will be in attendance,” the statement said.

No further details were provided.

While the AMPTP says that some CEOs will be present at the talks on Tuesday, it is not immediately clear if it will be the same quartet of top executives that have been directly involved in talks with the Writers Guild and SAG-AFTRA over the past two months: Disney’s Bob Iger, NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav.

It is also unclear whether the renewed talks will take the same cadence as the previous round earlier this month, with SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP holding direct talks every other day with the two sides meeting internally in the interim. 

Contract talks have been on pause since Oct. 11, when AMPTP, which represents studios in negotiations with Hollywood guilds, abruptly walked away from the bargaining table, citing objections to a streaming revenue sharing plan proposed by SAG-AFTRA.

The move brought a halt to growing optimism following ratification of the historic deal achieved by the Writers Guild of America, that the strike that has crippled the entertainment industry since May would soon be over.

When AMPTP broke off talks, the studios characterized the SAG-AFTRA plan — $1 per streaming service subscriber that would be passed on to the guild and then shared among members — as a “levy” on streaming services.

In a memo to members released on Friday, SAG-AFTRA pushed back on those claims, saying that the guild’s proposal averaged to 57 cents per subscriber and that there were other key issues such as artificial intelligence protections that were still not fully resolved when talks broke off. 

“As a faithful bargaining partner, and understanding their stated concerns with our 2% revenue/subscription sharing proposal, we made a calculated adjustment. After several, seemingly constructive sessions, we pivoted from the plan we carefully and responsibly developed over the past year and dropped our ask to 1%. We did so, by restructuring our proposal, tailoring it to address their concerns. They responded by walking out and calling us greedy,” the guild’s negotiating committee wrote. 

“Our revenue/subscription sharing model is only one piece of our overall proposal package. The AMPTP continues to refuse to counter many of our absolutely vital proposals including the minimum wage rates that our membership are on strike to achieve,” the memo continued. 

The announcement of the renewed talks comes amid what is now the longest strike that the actors’ guild has ever staged against a film/TV contract. While the recently ended WGA strike has allowed talk and late night comedy shows to return to television and provide some jobs in the entertainment industry, and while hundreds of independent productions have been approved for shooting through the guild’s interim agreement policy, the vast majority of production work remains on hold, leaving thousands of entertainment workers struggling with financial hardship and increased mental stress.

For the studios, there is a tight window to get a deal done. Studio insiders told TheWrap prior to the start of talks resuming earlier this month that there was hope that a deal could get done the first week of November at the latest. 

This would allow for some shooting of TV series to begin before the end of the year and would allow for film marketing teams to once again plan promotional work with the actors of upcoming holiday films and awards contenders like “Wish,” “Napoleon,” “Wonka,” “Maestro” and “The Color Purple.”

For all of TheWrap’s Hollywood strike coverage, click here.


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