SAG-AFTRA’s Duncan Crabtree-Ireland Says WGA Strike Resolution Would Give Actors a ‘Reason for Optimism’

“It would certainly be a good sign if the WGA and the studios and streamers are able to reach a deal,” the union’s chief negotiator says

duncan crabtree ireland picket line sag aftra
Duncan Crabtree-Ireland (Getty Images)

As negotiating committees for the WGA and the AMPTP meet Wednesday for the first time in nearly a month, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA’s national executive director and chief negotiator, said a resolution to the writers’ strike would be a “reason for optimism” for striking actors.

“It would certainly be a good sign if the WGA and the studios and streamers are able to reach a deal,” Crabtree-Ireland said in a SAG-AFTRA Instagram Live on Wednesday afternoon. “It will mean that the studios and streamers have made moves in the same direction that we are looking for them to make moves.”

While a new deal between the writers’ guild and the studios might offer some hope to SAG-AFTRA members, Crabtree-Ireland reminded listeners of the issues distinct to actors that have yet to be negotiated since SAG-AFTRA joined striking writers on the picket line in mid-July.

“Of course, our contract proposals are a little different — being an actor is different than being a writer,” Crabtree-Ireland continued. “So I can’t say for certain what that means other than it will be a reason for optimism if the WGA is able to reach a deal with the studios and streamers.”

Crabtree-Ireland’s comments come as the writers’ guild and the AMPTP resume negotiations after halting talks in mid-August. CEOs from several Hollywood studios were in attendance during Wednesday’s meeting, including Disney’s Bob Iger, Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav and NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley.

As the WGA strike stretches into its fourth month, the resumed talks offer a glimmer of hope to both unions, with striking writers telling TheWrap on the picket lines they were “guardedly optimistic” about a resolution to the strike.

Amid the strike against the AMPTP, SAG-AFTRA is also undergoing negotiations with video-game companies as the board holds a vote for a strike authorization for a second strike against companies like Activision Productions, Limelight and Epic Games, among others.

“The issues affecting the voice actors and performance capture artists who bring the multibillion dollar video-game industry to life are very, very similar to the issues that are affecting our members who work on the TV, theatrical and streaming contracts,” Crabtree-Ireland said on the Instagram Live. “Those video-game industry employers are continuing to fail to meet our members needs in key areas related to compensation to safety and to protections from AI technology.”

For all of TheWrap’s WGA strike coverage, read here.