2nd Update, Exclusive, 10:29 PM: SAG-AFTRA and the studios finally called it a night in the latest negotiations to seek a new three-year contract.
In the last 30 minutes, the Actors’ Union and AMPTP have concluded the long bargaining session that started this afternoon. The thinking is that they will resume negotiations on Tuesday the 117thTh strike day However, at this later time, no firm time has been set yet.
Tonight’s meeting was a virtual gathering, with CEO Gang of Four joined by AMPTP boss Carole Lombardini and SAG-AFTRA chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland and more. Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslau and Disney’s Bob Iger have been participating in live talks since the latest round of talks began on Oct. 24. More pressure than usual this weekend with the quarterly earnings reports of respective companies.
However, everyone seems to be aware of what is at stake for the industry as a whole, we are told.
“It’s a production session, there’s still some work to be done before a deal is in place,” a studio insider told Deadline of tonight’s meeting. ” last week. “There’s still some serious daylight between us, at least for now,” the insider added.
As it has been for months, AI remains one of the main issues dividing the two sides. The studios are seeking to seal the deal with what they call an “expanded version of what the WGA agreed upon.” Well-placed sources on both sides agree that part of the problem comes with effective safeguards for a technology that is evolving in leaps and bounds.
Updated, 4:20 pm: As the back-and-forth between SAG-AFTRA and the studios continues Monday, the end of the 116-day actors’ strike may not be immediate.
“We still do not have a contract for many essential items, including AI,” the guild said in a letter to members in the last hour. “We’ll keep you posted as events unfold.”
Here is the full letter:
This morning our negotiators formally responded to AMPTP’s “last, best and final” offer.
Please know that every member of our TV/Theatrical negotiating team is committed to securing a fair deal and thereby responsibly ending this strike.
We still have many essential items that we don’t have an agreement on, including AI. We’ll keep you posted on events as they unfold.
With solidarity and gratitude,
Your TV/Theatrical Negotiation Team
The letter follows Guild’s response to the studios’ “last, best & final” offer of a new TV and film deal. As Deadline reports, the parties are planning new talks, which will begin as soon as this evening.
AI has been one of the primary sticking points between the two sides since initial talks began in June. Since that time, technology has evolved so rapidly that there are questions on both sides about how many protections can actually be put into a new three-year contract.
“It’s not bulletproof, and everyone has to recognize that,” a studio executive told Deadline today about any potential AI deal. With IATSE and Teamsters negotiations looming next year, the executive noted that it will be months before the studios renegotiate the next three-year contract with the DGA, WGA and SAG-AFTRA.
Earlier, 2:38 pm: Exclusive: A deal may not be in the cards tonight, but SAG-AFTRA and the studios will return to negotiations in a few hours.
Hopefully the two sides will talk later today and possibly into the night.
According to a guild source, for now, no meetings have been formally set up, but they expect to be locked in “very soon”.
It is currently unclear whether NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley, Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslau, Disney’s Bob Iger and Netflix’s Ted Sarandos will attend the new talks, which include Guild chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree. and AMPTP President Carole Lombardini.
The potential latest sit-in comes as the striking actors’ union earlier on Monday sent a response to what it called AMPTP’s “last, best and final” offer on November 3.
That response has been “measured,” as a guild member close to the negotiations says on this 116th day of the SAG-AFTRA strike. The guild spent much of the weekend “reviewing” hundreds of pages from the studios — a response to SAG-AFTRA’s “comprehensive counter” in late October.
“Everybody knows where everybody stands,” a studio insider told Deadline this afternoon. “Now, it’s about bringing it home if we can,” he said with some hope. Despite the ominous tone of the studio’s most recent offer, the tactic hasn’t truly ruled out talks between the two sides this week.
The studio’s offer has “a lot to digest” for SAG-AFTRA, according to a source, whose details include the biggest pay raises for actors in 40 years. Additionally, there was a 100% increase in performance compensation bonuses for high-budget streaming series and films in the AMPTP package, which briefed Guild brass on November 4 on a Zoom call. The crown jewels in the studio’s suite could be called “full” AI defenses. Including health and pension fund contributions and more, executives felt their offer went “a long way from what SAG wanted,” according to an industry source over the weekend.
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Or, as Netflix co-CEO Sarandos told SAG-AFTRA leaders Saturday, “We didn’t come to you, we came to you.” If the executives thought it was going to pass them by now, clearly they were disappointed. A person on the studio side, expecting a deal on Sunday night, told us they had to stop production on the plan, which is ramping up today.
Even with the writers’ strike over, you’ll remember that filming television and special productions is tricky. The SAG-AFTRA strike was in full swing, halting the filming of B-roll along with extras for Netflix’s Nicole Kidman limited series. A perfect pair on September 28 in Nantucket. It doesn’t matter where Hollywood is shooting; The guild keeps them in check. problem A perfect pair It used non-Guild members as on-camera extras, a major obstacle for local union actors in Massachusetts.
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The combination of the now-settled WGA strike and the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike is estimated to have cost the California economy more than $6.5 billion so far. Another downfall was the loss of 45,000 jobs in the entertainment industry as guild members united, realizing the financial crisis, and the near-total cessation of production.
If a new deal is reached, how quickly the cast can return to work and promote new TV series and movies remains in question. With SAG-AFTRA’s size at 160,000 members, it was calculated that it was unlikely that the actors would return to work during the contract ratification, which was the case for the 12,000-strong WGA, whose members returned before the final vote on their new contract. .
In that context, SAG-AFTRA members and their allies were out in force today in front of studio lots and offices in Los Angeles and New York, with nearly a full week of walkouts now planned. This week will see two high-profile CEOs facing Wall Street scrutiny as both Warner Bros. Discovery and Disney release their latest quarterly earnings and plan for the new year.