Studios Present New Contract Offer to SAG-AFTRA as Talks Continue this Weekend

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Listen: Talks to Resume this Weekend

Studios Present New Contract Offer to SAG-AFTRA as Talks Continue this Weekend

• Studios have presented a new contract offer to SAG-AFTRA amidst an ongoing 113-day-long strike.
• Talks will continue this weekend, with studio CEOs expected to be involved.
• SAG-AFTRA leadership is reviewing the document before returning to the bargaining table.
• A tense week of talks has tilted towards pessimism as SAG-AFTRA awaits a formal response from the studios.
• Studio insiders dismiss any concerns and confirm that the extended timeline aims to deliver a comprehensive package.
• “Cautious optimism” has taken over, while conversations between the two sides are ongoing and include top studio executives like Donna Langley and Bob Iger.
• Earlier today, SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher expressed hope for a favorable counteroffer from AMPTP CEOs.
• The guild reportedly requests stunt performers’ control over digital stunt doubles and constraints on the number of digital extras used in scenes for real-life actors.
• Companies like Paramount Global have incurred $60 million in idle costs due to the strike, with an estimated loss of $6.5 billion and over 45,000 jobs across the California entertainment industry.

A fresh proposal has been delivered to the guild by the studios to resolve the ongoing 113-day-old SAG-AFTRA strike.

Further negotiations are scheduled for this weekend, with studio CEOs expected to be directly involved. However, a well-informed guild source advises against expecting a new three-year contract within the next 48 hours. Before returning to the bargaining table, SAG-AFTRA leadership must thoroughly review the document.

This development comes after a tense week of talks that leaned towards pessimism as SAG-AFTRA awaited a formal response to their recent demands. However, a studio insider dismissed any concerns and explained that the extended timeline ensured a comprehensive package was presented to the guild.

“We’re going to make them an offer and see where we go from there,” stated an executive close to the negotiations.

The new proposal arrives amidst leaks and rumors suggesting that the studios are under pressure to make a deal and save the remainder of the TV season and the 2024 film schedule.

While the phrase “cautious optimism” has replaced “fluid” as the prevailing sentiment for contract talks, insiders stress the urgency of finding a resolution. Simultaneously, these individuals warn against prematurely labeling the latest proposal as the final offer from the studios.

Conversations between the two sides occurred on Thursday and Friday, with insiders confirming ongoing communication efforts.

It is worth noting that despite previous reports, representatives from SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP did hold a conversation on Thursday night. However, this communication did not result in a formal response from the studios regarding the guild’s recent proposals.

Negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the studios resumed on October 24, with participants like Donna Langley from NBCUniversal, Bob Iger from Disney, David Zaslav from Warner Bros Discovery, and Ted Sarandos from Netflix being involved to varying degrees. These CEOs have played a significant role in shaping the response to SAG-AFTRA’s proposals and are expected to participate further in the upcoming talks.

Similar to previous labor conflicts, a campaign against SAG-AFTRA leadership has been observed, aiming to weaken the guild’s unity. However, these efforts have yet to produce the desired outcomes thus far.

Earlier today, SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher expressed hope on Instagram that the AMPTP CEOs would respond with a favorable counteroffer.

One studio source reveals that SAG-AFTRA demands that stunt performers have control over the appearance of their digital stunt doubles, which is typically a decision made by directors. Another source suggests that the actors’ guild is requesting limitations on the number of digital extras used in a scene to ensure more real-life actors are present.

The studios’ delay in responding to SAG-AFTRA’s counteroffer and proposals may seem like they need more clarification, considering their desire to resume TV and feature production. Paramount Global revealed during an earnings call that the company has incurred $60 million in strike-related idle costs, and it has impacted its theatrical film schedule for 2024.

While the economic impact on California and entertainment workers is substantial due to the strikes, with an estimated loss of $6.5 billion and over 45,000 jobs, the studio’s concerns appear primarily focused on restarting production.

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