Talks between studios and striking actors break down

October 12, 2023

Talks between Hollywood studios and actors in the SAG-AFTRA labor union were suspended Wednesday amid clashes over streaming revenue, artificial intelligence (AI) and other issues.

The breakdown came as the actors’ strike was entering its third month. The 160,000 members of SAG-AFTRA, Hollywood’s largest union, walked off the job on July 13, demanding increases in base pay and residuals amid the streaming era, along with assurances that their work will not be replaced by AI.

At the time, the actors were joining already-striking members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA), who late last month came to a contract agreement with the trade association Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) that bargains on behalf of studios.

Negotiations between the actors and the studios resumed last week after the writers’ deal was struck. 

“After meaningful conversations, it is clear that the gap between the AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA is too great, and conversations are no longer moving us in a productive direction,” said the AMPTP.

SAG-AFTRA said in a letter to members Thursday that it had negotiated “in good faith” with the studios “despite the fact that last week they presented an offer that was, shockingly, worth less than they proposed before the strike began.”

Though the TV networks’ late-night talk shows have resumed since the writers ended their strike, as long as the actors remain on the picket line major portions of the entertainment industry remain stuck in limbo. 

In a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the Warner Bros Discovery studio said it could suffer a $500 million hit because of the work stoppages.

PHOTO: Actors union strikers in New York City Wednesday

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