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Striking SAG Actors To Bargain Directly With Hollywood CEOs Next Week

Now that Hollywood writers have a deal, it’s time for the striking actors to bargain directly with Hollywood CEOs.

SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP [Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers] will resume negotiations for a new TV/Theatrical contract on Monday, October 2. Several executives from AMPTP member companies will be in attendance. — joint statement by SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP.

After an almost five-month impasse, the Writers Guild of America negotiating committee bargained directly with Disney’s Bob Iger, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslov and NBC Universal’s Donna Langley last week, reaching an agreement on Sunday night that ended the WGA strike last night.

The 8 negotiating members of the AMPTP are: Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros. Discovery, NBC Universal, Paramount, Apple, Amazon and Sony.

At issue:

The big shift into streaming makes this year’s contract talks an inflection point for Hollywood creatives. The actors’ demands are similar to those of the writers :higher pay, success-based streaming residuals and protection from generative artificial intelligence (AI) replacing the work of their members (by prohibiting an actor’s digital likeness and voice from being used without consent or pay).

The actors guild also wants a return to live casting sessions ending the pandemic trend of self-taped auditions.

At some point, the jig is up. You cannot keep being dwindled and marginalized and disrespected and dishonored. The entire business model has been changed by streaming, digital, AI. This is a moment of history. If we don’t stand tall right now, we are all going to be in trouble. — SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher.

See Fran Drescher aka The Nannny’s viral strike speech:

Since SAG-AFTRA took the picket lines on July 14th, the actors guild has put a lot of pressure on the 8 negotiating studio/streamers aka the struck companies by allowing its members to work on other productions as long as those companies sign an interim agreement.

Scores of independent production companies have signed SAG-AFTRA interim agreements.

For example, Hallmark signed a SAG-AFTRA interim agreement that allowed guild actors to work on season 11 of When Calls the Heart, which has been filming in Vancouver/Langley since mid-July.

Streaming Residuals:

SAG-AFTRA wants 2 percent of the total revenue generated by streaming shows.

Artificial Intelligence:

SAG-AFTRA is worried that A.I. can be used to create digital replicas of their likenesses (or that performances could be digitally altered) without approval or compensation.

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