Hollywood studios make “final offer” in effort to end actors’ strike
Hollywood studios have made what they describe as their “last, best and final” offer to the actors’ union, in an effort to bring the ongoing strike to an end.
The offer comes at the end of a renewed wave of negotiations between the two groups, which have been taking place over the past 12 days.
The new proposals are said to include an increased residual bonus for the most popular streaming shows, with actors on those shows set to receive double the bonus under the new offer.
The package also seeks to address the actors’ concerns over the threats posed by artificial intelligence, with a significant increase in protections.
SAG-AFTRA, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, began its strike on July 14 over an ongoing labour dispute with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). Talks between the two parties restarted on October 2, but broke down again on October 11, with studios saying that negotiations were “no longer moving us in a positive direction.”
The two sides have so far failed to come to an agreement over a deal, with SAG-AFTRA demanding increased pay, a share of streaming revenues and protection against actors’ images and voices being replicated by artificial intelligence. Most production of American films and television at major studios has been on hold since the strike began.
According to Variety, a Zoom meeting was held on Saturday (November 4) involving senior leaders of seven different studios, including Bob Iger from Disney, David Zaslav from Warner Bros. Discovery, Donna Langley of NBCUniversal and Ted Sarandos from Netflix.
The report states that Sarandos told the union in the meeting: “We didn’t just come toward you, we came all the way to you.”
SAG-AFTRA are now expected to respond to the new offer in the coming days, with the possibility of further talks with AMPTP to discuss specific points in the deal.
In an email to its members on Saturday (November 4), SAG-AFTRA wrote: “We are reviewing it and considering our response within the context of the critical issues addressed in our proposals. As always, unless it comes from your union, please do not believe any outside sources or rumors.”
The Writers Guild of America, an American union that represents scriptwriters, had also been engaged in industrial action in recent months, but that dispute ended on September 27.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, a Zoom meeting was held on October 17 between union leaders and a group of leading Hollywood stars, including George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson and Robert De Niro. The actors suggested that higher earners could pay more in union fees, which they estimated would generate $50 million (£41 million) a year.
In response to the suggestion, SAG-AFTRA said, “This generous concept is worthy of consideration, but it is in no way related to and would have no bearing on this present contract or even as a subject of collective bargaining.”