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    SAG-AFTRA Reveals Proposals for Studios, Streamers – The Hollywood Reporter

    Disagreements over a wide array of issues — from wage increases to a revenue-sharing plan for streaming platforms to meal break penalty increases — split Hollywood companies and performers’ union SAG-AFTRA in their negotiations that collapsed on July 12.

    Meanwhile, some progress was made during the five weeks of negotiations on issues including schedule breaks, compensation for the translation of scripts and some self-taped audition restrictions, SAG-AFTRA claimed in a message to members on Monday that included an extensive chart of their proposals and the companies’ alleged responses. Though the message was frequently light on specifics about SAG-AFTRA’s proposals and the AMPTP’s responses, it did paint a portait of two sides that remain very far apart from a deal. The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to the AMPTP for comment on the claims in the document and chart.

    When it comes to general minimum rate increases, the union was seeking to implement 11 percent wage boost in the first year of the new contract, 4 percent in the second year and 4 percent in the third year during their 2023 TV/theatrical negotiations. The studios and streamers maintained they would only offer 5, 4 and 3.5 percent in the three years of the agreement, SAG-AFTRA claimed, which are the same rate increases that the Directors Guild of America agreed to in its 2023 contract, ratified in June. As another means of increasing member compensation, the union additionally proposed that casts take a cut of subscriber revenue “generated when their performances are exhibited on streaming platforms,” which the AMPTP outright rejected, per the labor group.

    On another key issue, that of regulating generative artificial intelligence, SAG-AFTRA was vague about its proposals and the AMPTP’s responses. The union was seeking to “establish a comprehensive set of provisions to protect human-created work and require informed consent and fair compensation when a ‘digital replica’ is made of a performer, or when their voice, likeness, or performance will be substantially changed using AI.” The AMPTP, the union claimed, “failed to address many vital concerns, leaving principal performers and background actors vulnerable to having most of their work replaced by digital replicas.”

    Other notable disagreements flagged by the union in Monday’s message pertained to increasing “span” figures (SAG-AFTRA said the companies’ suggestion was “inadequate”) and increasing long-stagnant pension and health plan contribution “caps” that limit how much of a members’ earnings can be calculated towards contributions to the union’s benefits plans (the studios countered with “insufficient increases”). The two likewise couldn’t agree on the size of relocation allowances, for when a performer works in a state or country outside where they live, that meal break penalties should be increased or that performance-capture work can be covered by a SAG-AFTRA contract.

    There were some areas where they reached early tentative agreements, however (which are still subject to change when the two parties go back to the bargaining table). On self-taped auditions, one major area of concern for the union, which maintains that these kind of tryouts place undue burden on performers, the union says the studios and streamers “tentatively agreed to some but not all necessary regulations,” including a compromise on turnaround times, but without a real means of enforcement. The parties likewise agreed that actors should not be required to translate scripts without compensation and that both sides should “conform to the minimum payments that performers must receive before their employers can invoke the various ‘schedules’ under which members lose entitlement to additional payments such as weekly overtime.”

    SAG-AFTRA called a strike to start July 14 after its film and television contract expired and it and the AMPTP did not reach a deal on a new three-year pact. After five weeks of negotiation, major studios and streamers offered a deal that was “insulting,” claimed SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher on Thursday. “It came with great sadness that we came to this crossroads. We had no choice,” she said. The AMPTP, on the other hand, has said that the union had rejected a favorable package offer and “regrettably chosen a path that will lead to financial hardship for countless thousands of people who depend on the industry.”

    Though SAG-AFTRA initially signaled to members that negotiations had been “extremely productive” in June, the tone took a turn in the days leading up to the contract package’s expiration. The union began preparing major PR firms and hundreds of agents for a strike, and the AMPTP requested assistance from the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service. SAG-AFTRA agreed to bring in the service, present at talks on Wednesday, but did not allow an extension of discussions, saying it was wary of a “cynical ploy” on the part of companies.

    Starting July 14, SAG-AFTRA members have been picketing studio lots and corporate sites in Los Angeles and New York while major productions — including Deadpool 3, Mission Impossible 8 and Venom 3 — have shut down or been delayed without their performers. The AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA have not yet publicly released a date when they will return to the bargaining table.

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