The strike isn’t over yet, but on Friday night the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers presented SAG-AFTRA with a new contract offer, and talks between the groups will continue through the weekend.
In a late night memo to members, the Guild said the negotiating committee will be meeting Saturday morning and return to face-to-face talks with studios on Saturday afternoon. Ahead of that, guild leadership will be carefully reviewing the proposal.
And though AMPTP, which represents studios in contract negotiations, went into the day’s talks aiming to negotiate on to all remaining disagreements with actors guild, according to insiders there is likely more work is to be done in order to bring the strike to a close.
Going into the week, insiders were increasingly optimistic that a deal might be close. But on Monday, SAG-AFTRA informed members that while talks have been “productive,” it remained “far apart” from studios on several major issues — the biggest being compensation for actors on streaming services, and the use of so-called “artificial intelligence” software.
By Thursday it was clear that the earlier optimism was a tad premature, when SAG-AFTRA revealed in the early evening that the talks originally scheduled to take place that day had instead been “on standby” because the studios hadn’t yet provided a “comprehensive counter proposal” to the guild’s latest offer.
But the current round of talks marks the third attempt by SAG-AFTRA and the studios to reach a new contract agreement, and there is significant social and financial pressure on both sides to find a way out of the strike that has crippled Hollywood since May.
In this latest round, AMPTP hasn’t publicly issued any ultimatums, but insiders told TheWrap in mid-October that the group is considering a return to hardball tactics — which would among other things include walking away from negotiations until January — if a deal isn’t reached soon.
That decision could be catastrophic for the industry. Among other things, it would moot the 2023-24 season of scripted television entirely, and likely gut the 2024 movie release schedule too.
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