SAG-AFTRA Says Studios’ ‘Final’ Offer Still Doesn’t Meet Needs on ‘Essential’ Strike Items, ‘Including AI’

Insiders tell TheWrap there’s still hopes that talks on a deal can continue

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

SAG-AFTRA released a new memo to members of the actors union Monday announcing that its negotiating committee has sent a response to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers about the studios’ “best, last and final” offer presented to them on Saturday.

“Please know every member of our TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee is determined to secure the right deal and thereby bring this strike to an end responsibly,” the statement read. “There are several essential items on which we still do not have an agreement, including AI. We will keep you informed as events unfold.”

Despite the seeming ultimatum sent by the AMPTP during a brief Saturday virtual meeting in which all of its member CEOs were on hand to present SAG-AFTRA with their proposal, insiders tell TheWrap that there is still hope that negotiations on a new deal could continue. But it is unclear whether they would take place this evening or on Tuesday, if the two sides even agreed to do so. TheWrap has reached out to the AMPTP for comment.

The SAG-AFTRA negotiating commitee spent all of Sunday, working until midnight, pouring over the hundreds of pages in the AMPTP proposed contract, which covers labor issues for more than 160,000 actors guild members. According to a studio insider, the AMPTP’s offer includes “full” protections regarding the use of AI technology, as well as a 100% hike in compensation on high-budget streaming productions for both episodic television and feature films, as well as increases in health and pension plan contributions.

While those deliberations took place among the guild’s inner circle, the SAG-AFTRA rank-and-file was back out in force on the studio picket lines for the strike’s 116th day. At the Warner Bros. picket in Burbank, guild members carried signs and shouted chants decrying the studios’ “final” offer approach, seeing it as an attempt to pressure the negotiating committee into accepting an unsatisfactory deal.

The current actors’ strike is the longest ever staged against a TV/theatrical contract in industry history. Combined with the WGA strike which lasted 146 days, Hollywood’s work stoppage has cost an estimated 45,000 production jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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

Comments

12 responses to “SAG-AFTRA Says Studios’ ‘Final’ Offer Still Doesn’t Meet Needs on ‘Essential’ Strike Items, ‘Including AI’”

  1. Jim Avatar
    Jim

    Whatever actor creeps. Actors want to be paid for the work that independents and documentary creators do, also by being paid for every subscriber on the streaming platforms. Let alone, they are the only “so-called artists” that get paid well to make the product. No other artists get paid to make it and get royalties. Privileged mentality. Welcome to reality actors. I know it will hurt a lot of people but I hope the Producers shut it down until the new year and force the cry babies to go through the winter with no work and walk the line.

  2. G Avatar
    G

    I wonder if the Union heads are being paid, while they are negotiating and holding back the ability for others to work. Probably! Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people suffer right now, who will not benefit from being put out of work and these negotiations.

    I am not a supporter of this strike, any longer. If actors want to consider themselves artists then I agree with them getting proper royalties but not at the same time as being paid very well to actually make the product.

    All other artists, like music industry artists, painters, literary writers, etc. are almost always never paid while they are making their craft and then benefit from the sales of the end product. Only in film and television is the so-called “artist” paid well to make the product and then has the right to complain about also being paid for the success of the product.

    Lucky them, is what I say. Other people in the production do not get to benefit from the success, only actors. So, they get paid well to make it and they now want to be paid for the results, as well.

    And asking to be paid for every subscriber these streaming networks have?!?!?! REALLY?!?! They want to be paid for the work that independent and documentary films do, even if there are no SAG actors involved…??? Come on, REALITY CHECK TIME!

    Mof the documentary material is better than the SAG material, anyway. Of course, they want to benefit from other people’s success.

    Others suffer while these privileged actors want to continue to get spoiled some more. Maybe it’s time they came off of their high horse!

    Actors have always been an “I want my cake and eat it too. Not just my birthday but my Christmas cake, my Easter cake and any other I can think of. I want all of them and eat them too.” mentality.

    #sagstrike #actorsstrike #stopthesagstrike #spoiledactors

  3. CINDY Avatar
    CINDY

    Oh my god, thousands of people suffering because of these spoiled actors, who get paid well when they actually make the shows, who will not benefit from their crying. No support any longer for #SAG-AFTRA. It’s an unsecured industry you signed onto to. Suck it up, princesses! Welcome to being an artist.

  4. Robert ODell Avatar
    Robert ODell

    These comments fail to acknowledge that the biggest beneficiary of the actor’s craft are the very studios that would deprive them with a fair share of the product’s success. There is nothing more obvious than the fact that the the compensation being sought is only fair.

    1. You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Hires You Avatar
      You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Hires You

      There’s nothing more obvious than the fact that 86% of SAG-AFTRA’s 160,000 member union make less than $28,000 a year. How many SAG-AFTRA members within that 86% make less than $5,000 a year?

      The biggest beneficiary would be SAG-AFTRA union itself. SAG-AFTRA collects money regardless of however many members are working. SAG-AFTRA isn’t putting up the capital to make the product that only 14% of their membership is earning a viable living on.

      Is SAG-AFTRA doing anything to stem the tide of SAG-AFTRA productions that are leaving the US and setting up shop in Canada? The exodus of SAG-AFTRA productions is great for the Canadian film and tv industry workers who will be filling jobs that would have been filled by American film and tv industry workers, but how does that help the US-based SAG-AFTRA members who make less than $28,000 a year who are missing out on the work that’s being done in Canada?

      SAG-AFTRA has been giving out interim agreements to SAG-AFTRA productions that are filming in Canada.

      The reduction of SAG-AFTRA productions in Canada have taken a considerable toll on the Canadian film and tv industry. Canada can’t get by on ‘Canadian Content’ alone. SAG-AFTRA productions have been propping up Canada’s film and tv industry for well over a decade.

      To add financial insult to financial injury, SAG-AFTRA hosts an annual “ACTRA day” in L.A. where representatives of ACTRA ( Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television, and Radio Artists ) union are celebrated for the work that’s being done in Canada.

      It’s the thespian equivalent of the American Autoworkers Association hosting an annual event for a car factory that’s making cars in Mexico.

      1. You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Hires You Avatar
        You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Hires You

        “We’re putting a temporary pause on accepting new applications for our Emergency Financial Aid Program.
        We’ve received hundreds of applications in the last few months and need to take some time to process them before we accept new applications again.
        Since the ( WGA and SAG-AFTRA ) strikes began in May 2023, we’ve received over 1,500 applications for emergency financial aid – almost triple the number of applications we would normally receive in an entire year.
        We are down, if you look from January to September of last year and you compare that to this year, we’re down about 55% in earnings for our members.”
        – ACTRA National Executive Director Marie Kelly

        Acting is a precarious industry where an individual’s earnings can rise and fall from year to year depending on whether the individual is in demand or not. Their age, race, gender, height, weight, facial features, and physical ability play a substantial role in that. Their geographical proximity to the work that’s being done, and their personal relationship with their agent effect their chances of securing employment.

        If you take the entire ACTRA union membership, add their collective yearly income together and divide that amount by the total number of members you might arrive at the figure that ACTRA National Executive Director Marie Kelly cited ( one year’s loss of 55% of the earnings from all of the members), but that doesn’t tell you how many of those members lost a lot more than 55%.

        It doesn’t assign a dollar amount to what every individual earned. ( e.g. – an individual who earned $10,000 who experienced a 55% drop would end up with $4500 while another individual who earned $1000 who experienced a 55% drop would end up with $450 ).

        ACTRA’s not about to open up their books to the ACTRA union membership to show which ACTRA union members earned more and which ACTRA union members earned less.

        Are the ACTRA union members supposed to take Marie Kelly’s word for it that the members’ earnings have dropped 55%? Are the members who’ve seen their earnings drop by 75% or more lying about what’s been happening to them?

        “So, its been a huge impact that talks a bit about the fact that our industry is service oriented and we’re going to be talking more about our Canadian industry, but that should be a warning sign, and we’ve said this at parliament that it should be a warning sign to our government, about the importance of propping up the industry and keeping it supported here in Canada.
        – ACTRA National Executive Director Marie Kelly

        Canada’s film and tv industry is service oriented. SAG-AFTRA productions have been propping up the industry in Canada. The Canadian film and tv industry workers would be lost without the Americans who have been filming their productions in Canada instead of the U.S.

        The Canadian federal government knows that. The provincial government knows that. The municipal governments across Canada know that.

        The Canadian film and tv industry workers who have been earning a living working on ‘American Content’ know damn well that they would be up Schitt’s Creek if the Americans decided to film their ‘American stories’ in the U.S. or another country.

        ‘Canadian Content’ isn’t going to replace the ‘American Content’ that’s being produced in Canada.

        Wasting Canadian taxpayer dollars on propping up ‘Canadian Content’ that the vast majority of Canadian taxpayers have absolutely no interest in watching is unconscionable.

        Gambling on ‘Canadian Content’ would cause insurmountable financial harm to the Canadians who have been making a living in the film and tv industry working on the American productions that Canadians actually watch.

        ” And then we have to ensure that our cast, crew, writers, directors, everyone involved in our industry, we have to make sure that they make a viable living, that they reflect our society, so that we can continue to be the country that the industry comes to to do the great productions that we do.”
        – ACTRA National Executive Director Marie Kelly

        What a load of nonsense. Marie Kelly knows that the majority of members in the union that she’s blathering on about don’t make a “viable living ” in what she refers to as “our industry”.

        She makes a viable living as the Executive Director of Canada’s largest entertainment performers union, acting as if every ACTRA member is interchangeable and suffering equally, but her personal experience in the industry is very different than that of most ACTRA union members.

        “…. so that we can continue to be the country that the industry comes to, to do the great productions that we do.” – ACTRA National Executive Director Marie Kelly

        The industry that comes to do the great productions the ‘we’ ( Canadian film and tv industry workers ) do would be the American film and tv industry movers and shakers who are leaving their own country behind.

        Where would Canada be without them?

  5. anonymous Avatar
    anonymous

    Fran Drescher and the SAG-AFTRA Negotiations team are basking in the glory of this protest and not focused on the realistic resolution of a contract to get us back to work. We are losing crew members who must leave the industry in order to pay their bills. We cannot survive a longer strike. So actors get profit sharing and then have no experienced crew members to run the set, put makeup, dress, do hair, and light them let alone direct them?! What’s the point?!!! This has gone on way to long. Stop the madness. MAKE A DEAL NOW!

  6. James C. Avatar
    James C.

    The above comments are sorely misinformed and biased.  I am a working actor and have been for over thirty years.  I am considered successful, because I was able to make a living and support my family up until just a few years ago.

    In 2021, I was paid half the rate I made as a guest star in 2016. Half the union weekly base rate, because I was working for a streamer.  The reason?  The streamers did not want to pay residuals to use my voice and likeness in their production, but the leads of the series got over a million per episode.  I suppose the above commenters would consider this fair, because they aren’t actually human, but rather bots and AMPTP trolls .

    Look around the country.  These labor strikes are decades in the making. The very few ultra-rich get richer and richer as the very many rest of us get poorer and poorer. Nurses, healthcare workers, auto workers, teachers, laborers!  Are all the workers who are striking “babies”, or just actors?  All we ask is to make a living.   Another Day Longer, Another Day Stronger, As Long as It Takes!!!  FYI – actors aren’t the only artists who get residuals for use. 

    1. Anonymous Avatar
      Anonymous

      For Actors to work in Film and Television, they need below the line crew. Show some respect for their plight. It’s not just about actors. Our crews are being destroyed by this strike. Another day longer makes your crews weaker and weaker until there will be no one left and an industry that has gone outside of the United States forever. Think outside of your actor-centric box. I am neither a bot or an AMPTP troll.

    2. You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Hires You Avatar
      You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Hires You

      Stop, James. Just stop. You presume to call everyone who has a different perspective than you do a bot or an AMPTP troll while accusing everyone of being misinformed and bias. It’s laughable in the saddest way.

      Your fellow SAG-AFTRA union members, the leads who got paid a million dollars per episode for the show that you didn’t receive residuals for your voice and likeness, played a role in the amount of compensation that you received from the streamer that you have a problem with.

      There are over 160,000 SAG-AFTRA members. The ‘leads’ who were getting paid a million dollars per episode would call smile and call you ‘brother’ but they wouldn’t spare a penny, much less a dime, of their money to save you or the family that you’ve been supporting.

      Are you seriously comparing what you do as an actor to “teachers, healthcare workers, and autoworkers”? The answer to your inane question about “all workers being babies or just actors” is “just actors”, of course.

      Playing a teacher or healthcare worker or autoworker on tv or in the movies is not the same as actually being a teacher or a healthcare worker or an autoworker.

      Next you’ll be telling all of us ‘bots and AMPTP trolls’ in the comment section that playing a soldier in a movie about Viet Nam is like fighting in Viet Nam.

      You’ve really got to get over yourself.

  7. Fran Avatar
    Fran

    Victory is working reach!

  8. You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Hires You Avatar
    You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Hires You

    Stop, James. Just stop. You presume to call everyone who has a different perspective than you do a bot or an AMPTP troll while accusing everyone of being misinformed and biased. It’s laughable in the saddest way.

    Your fellow SAG-AFTRA union members, the leads who got paid a million dollars per episode for the show that you didn’t receive residuals for your voice and likeness, played a role in the amount of compensation that you received from the streamer that you have a problem with.

    There are over 160,000 SAG-AFTRA members. The ‘leads’ who were getting paid a million dollars per episode would cry on cue and call you ‘brother’ but they wouldn’t spare a penny, much less a dime, of their money to save you or the family that you’ve been supporting.

    Are you seriously comparing what you do as an actor to “teachers, healthcare workers, and autoworkers”? The answer to your inane question about “all workers being babies or just actors” is “just actors”, of course.

    Playing a teacher or healthcare worker or autoworker on tv or in the movies is not the same as actually being a teacher or a healthcare worker or an autoworker.

    Next you’ll be telling all of us ‘bots and AMPTP trolls’ in the comment section that playing a soldier in a movie about Viet Nam is like fighting in Viet Nam.

    You’ve really got to get over yourself.

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