SAG-AFTRA and Studios Still at Odds over Key Issues

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SAG-AFTRA and Studios Still at Odds over Key Issues

• Hollywood eagerly awaits a conclusion to the 116-day actors strike as SAG-AFTRA responds to the studios’ “last, best and final” offer.
• Issues remain unresolved, including AI usage and pay rates for digital doubles.
• The SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee has publicly voiced dissatisfaction with the AMPTP’s offer.
• The studio CEOs gathered for a Zoom call to emphasize that they cannot make any further compromises on their offer.
• If accepted, production can resume in January, though certain broadcast shows may not be able to salvage full 13-episode seasons.
• The union demands veto power over AI usage and minimum pay rates when creating digital likenesses.
• Picketing efforts continue in New York and Los Angeles through Thursday.

Hollywood anxiously awaits a resolution to the 116-day actors’ strike as SAG-AFTRA responds to the studios’ “last, best and final” offer. Despite working towards a responsible resolution, the union acknowledges that there are still several crucial matters on which they have not agreed, including artificial intelligence (AI).

The union’s negotiating committee spent extensive time crafting their response on Sunday, although specifics have not been disclosed. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) made it clear during a Zoom meeting that their current offer is their ultimate offer, and they will not engage in further negotiations. This offer includes bonuses for streaming shows, higher minimum rates, and safeguards against the use of AI.

Publicly, several members of the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee have expressed their dissatisfaction with the offer, taking to Twitter to rally high-profile actors and urge them to pressure studio CEOs for a more favorable deal.

While the union can still push for additional terms, the use of the term “last, best and final” by the AMPTP indicates that they have carefully considered the union’s arguments and cannot make further compromises.

To underline their stance, the studios made a concerted effort to gather a larger-than-usual group of CEOs during the Zoom call, including leaders from Paramount, Sony, Amazon, and Apple.

The hope is that if SAG-AFTRA agrees to a deal, production can resume in January. However, the CEOs have cautioned that it may not be possible to salvage full 13-episode seasons of certain broadcast shows.

The AI issue has been a major point of contention during negotiations. The union is seeking veto power over AI usage in creating digital doubles, as well as minimum pay rates and strict consent requirements for the use of AI to create digital likenesses.

In the meantime, SAG-AFTRA continues its picketing efforts in New York and Los Angeles. Regular picketing is scheduled through Thursday, with a day off on Friday for Veterans Day.

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