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regular-article-logo Thursday, 13 June 2024

SAG-AFTRA strike: Negotiations between entertainment studios and actors' union comes to standstill

Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) accused the studios of resorting to ‘bullying tactics’

Agnivo Niyogi Calcutta Published 13.10.23, 11:47 AM
Pedro Pascal joined the SAG-AFTRA picketing in September

Pedro Pascal joined the SAG-AFTRA picketing in September Getty Images

Negotiations between major entertainment studios and the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) have come to a standstill, casting a shadow over Hollywood's hope for a swift return to work.

The SAG-AFTRA strike, which began in July when actors went on strike, has left the film and television industry in a state of uncertainty, causing significant financial losses.

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The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), representing studios and streamers, recently released a statement announcing the suspension of talks with the actors’ body.

According to Deadline, the AMPTP said, "Negotiations between the AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA have been suspended after SAG-AFTRA presented its most recent proposal on October 11. After meaningful conversations, it is clear that the gap between the AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA is too great, and conversations are no longer moving us in a productive direction."

SAG-AFTRA, the actors' union, on the other hand, alleged that studio executives have engaged in "bully tactics". In a statement, SAG-AFTRA accused the studios of delivering an offer "that was, shockingly, worth less than they proposed before the strike began".

In a series of tweets on Thursday, SAG-AFTRA accused the studios of intentionally misrepresenting the cost of their proposal, inflating it by a staggering 60 per cent. Additionally, the union criticised the studios' approach to the use of artificial intelligence, alleging that the companies were demanding consent for the use of performers' digital replicas on the first day of employment for entire cinematic universes and franchise projects.

Furthermore, SAG-AFTRA compared the studios' tactics to a previous dispute with the Writers Guild of America (WGA), accusing the studios of spreading misleading information to divide their members. The union maintained that their solidarity remained unshaken and that their members would not be swayed by such tactics.

Over 8,000 screenwriters, who also went on a strike along with the actors, recently ratified a new three-year contract with the studio alliance on Monday.

The members of SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild of America stalled work in July, demanding better pay, limited use of artificial intelligence and more benefits.

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