SAG-AFTRA Says Talks With Studios ‘Productive’ but Warns They ‘Remain Far Apart on Key Issues’

The guild says talks will resume Tuesday and urges members to stay on the picket lines in member update Monday night

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

Talks between SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood studios will resume Tuesday, the guild confirmed in an update to members posted on social media Monday night. But while the guild says the latest round of negotiations has been “productive,” it warned that the two sides “remain far apart on key issues” that could bring the strike to an end, and urged members to stay on the picket lines.

“The committee worked independently today. We will be meeting with the AMPTP Tuesday. While talks over the past week have been productive, we remain far apart on key issues,” the guild said.

“Please help us keep pressure on the AMPTP by showing up on the picket lines, raising your voices at rallies across the country and by posting messages of support and strength on social media,” the statement added.

The guild’s message didn’t explicitly rebut growing optimism that a deal may soon be reached to end the strike that has now lasted nearly 110 days. But as it follows reports of “meaningful progress” made during weekend talks, the update unmistakably serves to manage expectations as to when a such a deal might be struck.

Insiders with knowledge of the Saturday and Sunday bargaining sessions told TheWrap that the guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers got significantly closer on the issues of compensation for work on streaming services, and a compromise on increasing minimum rates.

Even so, as SAG-AFTRA did Monday, those same insiders cautioned that such progress didn’t make a deal imminent, noting that among other things there is much work left to resolve disagreements over the use of so-called “artificial intelligence” software, particularly when it comes to creating virtual replicas of actors.

The current round of talks is the third attempt to draw up a new contract for actors, following the initial round preceding the strike, and the resumption of talks at the beginning of Oct. that were halted for nearly two weeks after AMPTP abruptly walked away over objections to a revenue sharing plan the guild proposed.

The studios haven’t publicly insisted on a formal time limit to reach a deal this time, but insiders told TheWrap a week ago that AMPTP leaders are considering a return to hardball negotiation tactics — walking away from the table yet again and refusing to return until January, if a deal isn’t reached this week.

If the studios did decide to quit talks for a third time, it would likely have devastating effects on the economy of Hollywood. Production on many shows and movies partially started back up after a deal was reached with the Writers Guild of America, but if actors aren’t able to return to work soon, the 2023-24 season of scripted television would likely be forfeited.

Already, several studios have announced delays for major 2024 feature films, as it is expected that they will not be completed in time for their previously scheduled release dates. Among the films moved are Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible 8,” Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” and Pixar’s “Elio,” all of which have been moved to 2025.

Further interruptions also increase strain on working actors, who have made serious financial sacrifices throughout the strike. Even so, commitment to remaining on the picket lines in order to secure the best possible deal remains high among guild members, as evidenced by an open letter signed by more than 3,600 actors last week urging the guild not “cave.”

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


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