SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced in a joint statement that they will continue talks on Wednesday after meeting for the first time since the actors guild announced a strike in mid-July.
“SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP met for a full day bargaining session and have concluded. Negotiations will resume Wednesday, October 4,” the statement read.
In a separate statement to members, SAG-AFTRA urged actors to keep up the energy on the picket lines until a deal is announced.
“Keep turning out in full force on our picket lines and at solidarity events around the country. Let the AMPTP hear your voices loud and clear. It makes a difference. YOU make a difference,” the guild leadership said.
Negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP resumed just eight days after the Writers Guild of America announced that it had reached its own deal with the studios, allowing writers to return to work and late night comedy shows to return to television.
Optimism is high that the two sides can reach a deal, particularly as the CEOs that took charge of talks with the WGA — NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Disney’s Bob Iger and Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav — were once again present as discussions began at SAG-AFTRA Miracle Mile headquarters instead of the AMPTP’s offices in Sherman Oaks.
However, the state of talks for the actors is not quite the same as it was for the writers. When the WGA and AMPTP began the five days of marathon negotiations that finally yielded a deal, the union and studio labor representatives had been meeting on-and-off for several weeks in August over a studio proposal that was rejected by the union but which contained some elements that made it into the final deal, such as an agreement by the studios to share confidential streaming data with select WGA officials.
The SAG-AFTRA talks, on the other hand, are the first since the two sides walked away on July 12 at midnight, with the actors union announcing a strike the next day. One insider with knowledge of the talks said that the talks on Monday were positive with the CEOs exchanging talks with union president Fran Drescher and chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland on key issues, most notably streaming residuals and protections for actors against artificial intelligence being used to create replicas of their performances without proper consent and compensation.
While those talks continue, the WGA began a weeklong voting period for members on whether to ratify the contract. Results will be announced on the afternoon of Monday, Oct. 9.
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