The Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) recently responded to the latest offer made by major film studios. This development indicates a potential advancement towards resolving the ongoing actors’ strike. Negotiations are set to resume on Friday, with both parties keen to avoid further disruptions.
A looming threat over next year’s major film releases and television series cancellations has been issued by the studios if a settlement isn’t reached soon. Despite SAG-AFTRA regarding this warning as potentially exaggerated, there’s a sense of increasing unease among its top-tier members.
In a new move, SAG-AFTRA moderated its initial request for an 11% hike in the first-year minimum salary rates down to 9%, coming nearer to the studios’ offer of a 7% increase.
However, some insiders suggest maintaining caution as substantial issues remain unresolved. For instance, the studios and SAG-AFTRA are yet to find common ground on various matters, including the contentious issue of using artificial intelligence for creating digital versions of actors. While the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) is willing to seek actor consent for such usage, they stop short of granting the union full veto power.
Among the less publicized yet intricate topics still on the negotiation table, many are expected to need extensive discussions.
The heads of prominent entertainment firms, including Disney, Netflix, NBCUniversal, and Warner Bros. Discovery, presented their latest offer this Tuesday. In an ambitious move, led by Fran Drescher, SAG-AFTRA demands a share of 57 cents per global subscriber from each streaming platform, aiming to raise around $500 million annually. However, the studios find this proposal impractical and have countered with a different bonus structure for top-rated shows.
Previously, AMPTP had maintained a stance of offering a 5% increase in minimum rates — a figure aligned with agreements made with the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America. They’ve now increased their offer to 7%, hoping it demonstrates significant recognition of the actors’ efforts and sacrifices during the strike.
The financial impact of the studios’ proposal is under debate. While they claim it values approximately $1.3 billion over three years, SAG-AFTRA argues this is overstated, pointing out that top-earning actors don’t work at minimum rates and thus wouldn’t benefit from the increase, estimating the real value closer to $800 million. SAG-AFTRA maintains that an 11% increase is critical to match inflation rates. Source