After more than a week of silence, the Actors Union and AMPTP are set to return to negotiations on October 24.
“SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP will meet to bargain on Tuesday, October 24 at SAG-AFTRA Plaza. “Several executives from AMPTP member companies will be in attendance,” today’s statement from SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP said.
Talks broke down on October 11, with SAG-AFTRA proposing to charge an annual fee of 75 cents per subscriber in a revenue-sharing plan with the studios. The next day, at a Bloomberg conference, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos described the fee as “a tax on subscribers on top of [other] Regions” as well as “a bridge too far.” SAG-AFTRA chief negotiator and national executive Duncan Crabtree-Ireland criticized Sarandos’ statement as “unreasonable” in an interview with Deadline last Saturday. The studios rejected the union’s request, saying in a public statement that it was “a burden untenable economy” that would cost them more than $2.4 billion over a new three-year contract or more than $800 million annually. SAG-AFTRA responded by saying the studios “intentionally misrepresented to the press the cost of the above proposal — and overestimated it by 60%.”
On Tuesday, Hollywood’s biggest stars gathered on a Zoom call with SAG-AFTRA leaders, pledging $150 million over three years to eliminate caps on union dues to bring more coin into union coffers, and proposing a residual structure for streaming that would put… The actors are at the bottom of the contact sheet in front of them. The hope was that getting the money faster would help more struggling actors qualify for benefits.
Deadline first told you that the cast included George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Kerry Washington, Tyler Perry, Bradley Cooper, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Aniston, Robert De Niro, Ben Affleck, Laura Dern, Emma Stone, Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Reynolds, and Ariana DeBose. .
However, union leader Fran Drescher later said such a move would be inconsistent with the contract SAG-AFTRA was trying to negotiate.
Clooney’s offer “does not affect the contract we have for him at all,” Drescher said on Instagram Thursday evening.
“I would also like to thank George Clooney for organizing the proposal to remove dues caps so that the highest paid members can contribute more. Although that is very generous and we graciously accept that.
Drescher explained why the proposal didn’t work.
“We are a federally regulated labor union and the only contributions that can go to our retirement and health funds have to be from the employer. So what we are fighting for in terms of benefits has to stay in this contract.”
“SAG-AFTRA members’ ability to earn a living has been systematically curtailed by a streaming model that reduces the number of episodes per season by two-thirds and the number of seasons by two-thirds, while cutting off streaming entirely,” Drescher said in an exclusive open letter to Deadline today, on the 100th day. From strike to union.
She added: “This significant squeeze on employment opportunities combined with inadequate compensation has had a devastating impact on working actors and the skilled actors who bring films and TV shows to life. It has weakened their ability to pay their rent, put food on the table, and clothes on their children’s backs.”
Combined with the WGA strike, which ended on September 27, the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike has cost California’s economy $5 billion. Additionally, according to Labor statistics, 45,000 jobs have been lost with the fall box office down nearly $400 million from the pre-pandemic 2019 frame from after Labor Day onward.
While the writers’ rooms have begun, the start of the new season is hanging in limbo. Studios had been hoping for a January 2024 TV broadcast as they reached an agreement with the scribes, pinning their hopes on the actors immediately finding their way into the contract. That did not happen as SAG-AFTRA held firm for better terms on the remaining share/revenue stream and actors’ rights regarding their use by AI.
Also bound to be collateral damage as part of the strike is the theatrical release calendar. After movie theaters, with the help of the US government, managed to get by after being closed for nearly a year due to Covid, the box office rebounded again, but not to pre-pandemic domestic levels of $11 billion. With major Hollywood studios shutting down their films around the world, this will force the majors to actually delay films, leaving gaps in the release calendar, and leaving their debt-laden exhibition pipeline in tatters. Deadline first told you that Marvel Studios deadpool 3, Which is only half complete, and will not meet its early summer release date of May 3 even if the strike ends in the near future.