In a development that spells ongoing uncertainty for the entertainment industry, negotiations between the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and major Hollywood studios have been suspended. The strike, which has been in effect for several months, shows no signs of resolution as industry CEOs have reportedly walked away from the bargaining table, much to the disappointment of the actors’ union.
SAG-AFTRA expressed profound disappointment, accusing the studios of refusing to counter their latest offer. The union claims that they have negotiated in good faith, despite studios presenting an offer last week that was significantly less favourable than their initial proposal before the strike began.
Among the contentious issues are the protection of performers from being replaced by artificial intelligence, wage increases to match inflation, and a fair share of the revenue generated by actors’ work.
Additionally, the actors’ union has accused studio negotiators of resorting to “bully tactics” and misrepresenting the cost of the union’s offer to the press. According to SAG-AFTRA, their proposed deal would cost studios a mere 57 pence per subscriber annually. A major sticking point is the use of artificial intelligence, with studios demanding immediate “consent” for the use of a performer’s digital replica in cinematic universes or franchise projects.
SAG-AFTRA has drawn parallels to the Writers Guild of America strike, where studios allegedly used misleading information to sway the members. However, the actors’ union maintains that its members are resolute and refuse to be fooled by such tactics.
????To Our Fellow #SagAftraMembers:
It is with profound disappointment that we report the industry CEOs have walked away from the bargaining table after refusing to counter our latest offer. (1/11) pic.twitter.com/nd2PfpDH4F
— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) October 12, 2023
In response to the stalled negotiations, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) conveyed its belief that the gap between the two parties is too significant, rendering conversations unproductive. They expressed hope that SAG-AFTRA would reconsider and return to the negotiation table soon.
The strike, which began after the writers’ union strike earlier in the year, has had a severe impact on the film and television industry. While the writers’ union recently reached an agreement with studios, enabling the resumption of late-night and daytime show productions, the strike by actors continues to bring Hollywood’s film and television projects to a halt.
Despite the challenges, SAG-AFTRA remains steadfast in its resolve. The actors’ union has called upon its members to join picket lines and participate in solidarity events across the country to ensure their voices are heard in this ongoing labour dispute. The future of Hollywood’s entertainment industry remains uncertain as both parties stand their ground, leaving numerous projects and livelihoods hanging in the balance.