Actors union says issues remain outstanding in strike against studios

November 7, 2023

The Hollywood actors union SAG-AFTRA said Monday evening that “several essential items” remain sticking points amid its months-long strike against the film and TV studios.

That response from the actors union came after SAG-AFTRA said that the trade association Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which bargains on behalf of studios, had offered its “‘Last, Best & Final’ offer.”

“Please know every member of our TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee is determined to secure the right deal and thereby bring this strike to an end responsibly,” the union said in a statement, adding that the “TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee analyzed and thoroughly discussed the AMPTP’s counter proposal all day and well into the night” on Sunday.

Talks were set to resume Tuesday as the strike entered its 117th day.

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 in late September came to a contract agreement with the AMPTP.

Negotiations between the actors and the studios resumed in October after the writers’ deal was struck. 

The AMPTP late last month agreed to obtain consent from actors before creating AI replicas of their images and voices, though the precise details were uncertain.

The latest studio offer reportedly includes the AI agreement as well as wage increases and a success-based streaming bonus, rather than the revenue share the union has been seeking.

One studio source told The Hollywood Reporter that its latest proposal was “worth more than three of the last deals put together.”

The studio source added that if a deal isn’t reached by this weekend or early next week, “it means we’re finished.”

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. 

Both the Warner Bros. Discovery and Disney studios were due to report earnings this week. In a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Warner Bros. Discovery said it could suffer a $500 million hit because of the work stoppages.

PHOTO: Actors union strikers in New York City, July 14

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