Strike Talks With Studios End Saturday as SAG-AFTRA Weighs ‘Final’ Offer of ‘Full’ AI Protections, Comp Hikes

The latest virtual meeting concluded after less than two hours

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

SAG-AFTRA and the major studios met Saturday for less than two hours, and the guild is now reviewing what it says studios called their “best, last and final” offer to finally bring an end to the strike.

“We received an offer today from the AMPTP, which they characterized as their ‘Last, Best, and Final Offer,’” the guild negotiating committee said in a statement. “We are reviewing it and considering our response within the context of the critical issues addressed in our proposals.”

While full details about the plan haven’t been made public, an insider with knowledge of today’s talks told TheWrap they include “full” protections regarding the use of so-called AI technology, as well as a 100% hike in compensation on high budget streaming productions, for both episodic television and feature films.

According to the insider, the offer also includes what the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) is describing as the biggest hike in overall compensation since 1983.

It’s not clear if the offer under review Saturday is the same one made during Friday’s round of talks, or if it is an amended proposal.

Befitting the seriousness of the situation, the meeting, conducted over zoom, included a larger-than-normal contingent of top Hollywood executives. This included the big four who have been most involved with talks — Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, Disney CEO Bob Iger, Warner Bros. Discovery chief David Zaslav and NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley as well as top executives from Paramount, Sony and Apple.

In late October, insiders told TheWrap that AMPTP leaders, spurred on by the CEOs of some of Hollywood’s biggest studios, was considering a return to hardball tactics. Namely, quitting talks for a third time and refusing to return to the table until January if a deal can’t be reached by early November.

While no such ultimatum has been issued publicly, the fact that even SAG-AFTRA has confirmed the studio’s description of the deal as “final” suggests that may come to pass if the new offer doesn’t meet the guild’s needs.

There is significant social and financial pressure on both sides to find a way out of the strike that has crippled Hollywood since May. Working actors in particular have been hard hit by the lack of work.

A decision to halt talks until the new year could therefore 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.

Unsurprisingly, there have been some cracks in guild solidarity. In October, notably a group of A-list actors led by George Clooney who attempted to broker a compromise that did not adequately address the guild’s concerns.

But overall, members have largely been united behind the strike. Most notably, an open letter published Oct. 26 that urged guild leaders not to “cave” for a “bad deal” was signed by more than 3,600 members, among them some equally A-list stars.

According to Deadline, which first reported on the details of the offer Saturday, Sarandos told guild negotiators, “We didn’t just come toward you, we came all the way to you.” It remains to be seen if SAG-AFTRA agrees.

Neither side has indicated when they’ll meet again.

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


3 responses to “Strike Talks With Studios End Saturday as SAG-AFTRA Weighs ‘Final’ Offer of ‘Full’ AI Protections, Comp Hikes”

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

    Is there anything in SAG-AFTRA’s proposals to the AMPTP that would reduce the number of ‘runaway productions’?

    The number of US productions that are filming in Canada is great for the Canadian film and tv industry workers who are filling jobs that would have gone to American film and tv industry workers if those productions had remained in the US, but what about the 86% of SAG-AFTRA union members who make less than $28,000 annually who can’t afford to leave the US to seek work in a foreign country?

    The U.S.-based SAG-AFTRA union members who are missing out on jobs that end up in Canada are no better off than the U.S.-based American Autoworkers who are missing out on jobs that ended up in Mexico.

    The Mexican labor force who are manning the lines in a Mexican factory looks the part. You can’t say the same about the Canadians who are taking the jobs on American productions.

    The Canadians who are filling the jobs on American film and tv productions in Canada look as ‘American’ as the American SAG-AFTRA members who are out of work in the U.S.
    The viewing audience can’t tell the difference.

    There’s no shortage of ACTRA ( Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television, and Radio Artists ) union members who’ve made a very lucrative living playing ‘Americans’. e.g. – Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, Nathan Fillion, Jim Carey, Mike Myers, Michael J. Fox, etc.

    Nothing against any of those talented Canadian actors, but they wouldn’t be the stars they are today if they hadn’t made a name for themselves in SAG-AFTRA productions.

    They owe their success to SAG-AFTRA not ACTRA.

  2. Wtf Avatar

    This is completely racist.  
    Americans like to think they are the best at everything.  I guess in this case, that is being tested, and you’re losing.   

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

      How in the world is what I wrote “completely racist”?

      Your hatred for Americans in general is clouding your ability to recognize your own race baiting.

      The greatest compliment that you can give a Canadian actor is to tell them that they’re good enough to make it in the US.

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