SAG-AFTRA and Studios to Keep Talking on Wednesday

Negotiations on a new SAG-AFTRA contract are set to continue on Wednesday, as the studios aim to salvage the 2024 summer box office.

The union resumed bargaining on Tuesday for the first time in almost two weeks. The studios delivered a new offer on the most contentious issue — streaming residuals — that they hoped would break the deadlock that has led to a 103-day strike.

In a memo to members on Tuesday evening, SAG-AFTRA offered a brief update on the talks.

“Today, the CEOs came back to the table. We are scheduled to continue talks with them tomorrow,” the union stated. “We will continue to provide updates with you directly. Remember – don’t believe anything you read in the press unless it comes directly from us. Keep showing up on the picket lines and make your voices heard around the country.”

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers also delivered a response to the union last week on the regulation of artificial intelligence. The two sides have been stymied over issues like minimum compensation for the use of digital replicas, the scope of consents needed allow digital replicas, and AI training.

In another week, the combined writers and actors strikes will have lasted six months. The studios have made clear they are eager to make a deal in the next week to 10 days if they have any hope of saving the summer movie season and a portion of the 2023-24 TV season.

If the strike runs into November, the fear is that more film releases will be delayed and there will be little chance of producing even half a season of network TV.

The leadership of SAG-AFTRA was buoyed on Saturday, when Disney CEO Bob Iger called Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the union’s top negotiator, to invite the guild back to the table.

But the union has also faced significant pressure in the last week to bring the strike to an end. Several A-listers, led by George Clooney, presented an alternate set of proposals to union leadership that was meant to help resolve the strike. But the union rejected those ideas, saying they would not work.

Zachary Quinto, star of “Star Trek” and “Margin Call,” recorded an Instagram video on Monday urging members to support leadership, because “solidarity is the only way we are going to get what we are asking for in this negotiation.”

“I know that everyone is tired. I know we’ve been at this for over 100 days,” Quinto said. “But we have got to stay together as a union. Our job as the membership of a union is to support our leadership and to get behind them. If we start calling into question their tactics, their motives — if we start trying to take matters into our own hands, we are weakening our position and we are playing directly into the desires of the AMPTP. It is exactly what they want — for us to start to question one other and to question our leadership.”

Several members of the negotiating committee thanked Quinto for his support.

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