This past Wednesday, the studios (AMPTP) and actors union (SAG-AFTRA) were supposed to reconvene together to continue talks to resolve the actor’s strike, which started back in July and has caused disruption to film and show production, including many shows that will eventually be heading to Disney+, across the world.
However, it was confirmed by SAG-AFTRA that the meeting between the two did happen as intended and that the two would come back together on Thursday, 26th October 2023, to resume talks. The meeting was cancelled to take a closer look at the studio’s counteroffer, which was given to them on Tuesday. When the two parties came together on Tuesday, for the first time in weeks since the studio CEOs, including Disney’s Bob Iger, walked out on negotiations when the actor’s union made a last-minute proposal that they wanted 2% of all streaming revenues from platforms like Hulu and Disney+ to help fund additional payments to the actors.
The new offer to the union increased the minimum pay rate and improved the bonus for the most-watched streaming shows, rather than offering a straight cut of the revenue.
SAG-AFTRA has released a statement confirming that there was a rescheduling of its meeting:
Dear SAG-AFTRA Members,
Our committee spent today reviewing the latest AMPTP counter offer. We will be meeting across the table with the CEOs tomorrow.
In solidarity and gratitude,
Your TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee
There is frustration on both sides of the negotiations, along with anger from others within the film industry, which has suffered from production shutdowns since the writers went on strike in May.
According to reports, the studio CEO said during the meeting that the longer the strikes continue, the more chance of further show cancellations, which SAG-AFTRA took as a threat, while the studios said it was just the basic realities of the broadcast production schedule, especially with contracts coming up etc.
Hopefully, with this latest offer, things can smooth down between the negotiations. The studios are apparently unwilling to give a percentage of streaming revenues to the union, since this would cost them potentially billions of dollars, as the percentage would like to continue to be increased and other unions would also want a similar deal at their next contract negotiations. Plus, the studios are taking all the financial risks in funding and creating new shows/films for its platforms, while the actors union take none of the risks.
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