The bargaining session between SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood studios that was scheduled to take place on Wednesday has been postponed so that the actors guild can consider the most recent studio offer, TheWrap has learned.
On Tuesday night following the conclusion of a meeting between the two groups, the guild informed members that the discussions would continue Wednesday, a departure from the previous round of talks that were held every other day with the two sides engaging in internal deliberation during the off days.
An insider familiar with the studio side of talks said there was some surprise among the AMPTP ranks when the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee requested the delay, but they are taking it as a hopeful sign that there will be progress when the two sides do meet again.
Tuesday’s meeting was the first since Oct. 11, when the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the studios in contract talks, abruptly walked away from talks on Oct. 11. The primary disagreement behind that decision concerned SAG-AFTRA’s proposed streaming revenue-sharing plan, which AMPTP leaders characterized as a “levy” on streaming services.
SAG-AFTRA estimated its proposal to average to about 57 cents per streaming subscriber, with that revenue being paid to the guild who would in turn distribute it to performers whose work appears on the streaming service. The AMPTP rejected the proposal in a statement released on Oct. 11, calling it an “untenable economic burden.”
While studio insiders told TheWrap that some concessions were made on Tuesday in an effort to reach a compromise, including increased offers from the AMPTP on minimum rate increases, the revenue-sharing plan remains a major impasse.
The AMPTP is pushing for a viewership bonus model similar to the one agreed to with the WGA and had believed when talks first resumed that it would have been sufficient to reach a deal with the actors guild, but SAG-AFTRA believes that the revenue-sharing plan is a better model to ensure increased pay for performers throughout the union’s membership for the work they do on streaming films and TV shows.
Compensation from streaming services remains a key hurdle to overcome if the guild and the studios hope to reach a deal to bring the now 105-day-long actors’ strike to an end. But SAG-AFTRA has also informed members that other issues still need to be addressed, including minimum rate increases, as the union insists that it is not beholden to terms negotiated by the DGA and WGA and is pushing for an 11% minimum increase in the first year of the contract to ensure actors’ pay keeps up with inflation.
SAG-AFTRA insiders told TheWrap before talks resumed that the two sides also hadn’t come to an agreement on health and pension plan contributions and rules regarding consent and compensation for AI-generated replicas of performers.