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AMPTP Make the Deal! Headstone in Vancouver. End of SAG Strike in Sight?

Brad Creasser Instagram.

AMPTP Make The Deal! — Halloween headstone spotted in Vancouver by local cinematographer Brad Creasser.

Some Hollywood insiders are “optimistic” the 109-day SAG-AFTRA strike will be over by the end of the week as SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild) and the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) step back today to work independently after several days of negotiation..

Over the course of the weekend, we have discussed all open proposals, including AI, [Artificial Intelligence] with the AMPTP. Both parties will be working independently Monday and re-engage on scheduling at the end of the day. – SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher.

Related: Hollywood CEOs to Resume Negotiations with Striking SAG Actors on October 24th.

Saturday Night Live spoofed the SAG President on the weekend with cast member Sarah Sherman dressed up as The Nanny star and schooling children on how not to be “adorable scabs” by wearing Halloween costumes inspired by movies and TV made by the 8 struck companies — Disney, Netflix, NBC-Universal, Warner Bros. Discovery, Paramount, Sony, Amazon and Apple.

Earlier, Fran Drescher was teased online when it leaked out she was bringing Jelly Cat, an emotional support plushie, to negotiations attended by the Gang of Four CEOs: Disney’s Bob Iger, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslov and NBC Universal’s Donna Langley.

Additional compensation for actors from streaming shows and movies and protection for actors from AI using their digital likenesses are still being worked out, according to several trade reports. But there has been progress on minimums with the AMPTP offer rising from 5% to 7% in the first year of a proposed three-year contract and the SAG demand dropping from 15% to 11% to 9%.

At issue:

The big shift into streaming made this year’s contract talks an inflection point for Hollywood creatives. The actors’ demands are similar to those of the writers: :higher minimum pay, higher streaming compensation 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). 

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.

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.

Minimum wages:

AMPTP offer rises from 5% to 7% increase in the first year of a proposed three-year contract and the SAG demand drops from 11% to 9%.

Streaming Compensation:

SAG-AFTRA started out wanting 2 percent of the total revenue generated by streaming shows then pivoted to 57 cent payments for each streaming subscriber after the AMPTP rejected the revenue proposal outright.

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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