As the SAG-AFTRA negotiations extend into the weekend, the union and Hollywood studios concluded their talks on Saturday over a new three-year pact that could bring an end to the actors’ strike.
The discussions, which may continue Sunday, though the sides are still working out their schedules, saw the union side present its latest responses to studios. The discussions were led on the studio side by Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers president Carol Lombardini on Saturday, with no top company executives present, as they were in prior negotiations sessions this week.
The development comes after the performers’ union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers returned to negotiations for the first time in nearly two weeks on Tuesday. With the industry watching closely, the two sides have been trading proposals over multiple days and have made some moves on hot-button issues. On wage floors, the studios have raised their offer from a 5 to 7 percent increase in the first year, while the union has lowered its ask from 11 to 9 percent. When it comes to the union’s attempt to bring more compensation to members working for streaming platforms, the studios initially adjusted its prior success-based streaming bonus proposal, while the union later made an adjustment to its own ask to charge a fee per streaming subscriber (details of its new idea were not immediately available).
But, during the SAG-AFTRA strike’s 107th day, the pressure is on for both sides to be making real progress. This month a group of A-lister actors began talking to both their union and the studios in an attempt to improve progress in the negotiations. A number of actors also started drafting a letter expressing concerns about the union’s leadership but held back from publishing it, fearful of the missive’s potential impact on negotiations. Then, on Oct. 26, a separate letter was released signed by apparently thousands of actors, exhorting negotiators, “We have not come all this way to cave now.”
The studios, meanwhile, have been anxious for the future of their 2024 movie and broadcast schedules as the holiday season approaches. On Friday, Disney announced a new change to its 2024 release schedule, saying it would delay two spring tentpoles — Snow White and Pixar’s Elio — by more than a year amid the ongoing strike.