Striking actors and studios to resume talks amid reports of progress 

October 27, 2023

Talks between Hollywood studios and actors in the SAG-AFTRA labor union were set to resume Friday as the two sides appeared to be making progress, Variety reported. 

The actors union delivered a response to the studios’ latest proposal on Thursday by reducing its demand for a first-year increase in minimum rates from 11% to 9%. That move was slightly closer to the studios’ position, which stands at 7%.

“Today, we passed a comprehensive counter across the table to the CEOs and while talks for the day have ended, our committee just completed working internally tonight,” the SAG-AFTRA Negotiating Committee said Thursday evening. “We are scheduled to meet across the table again tomorrow.”

Many sticking points remain in the more-than three-month strike. 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 artificial intelligence (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 earlier this month after the writers’ deal was struck. 

While talks over the other sticking points continue AMPTP did agree to obtain consent from actors before creating AI replicas of their images and voices, though the precise details remain uncertain.

Though the TV networks’ late-night talk shows resumed production when 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 Oct 11

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