December 8, 2023

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Studios makes ‘last and final’ offer as SAG-AFTRA needs time to respond

Studios makes ‘last and final’ offer as SAG-AFTRA needs time to respond

The studios told SAG-AFTRA on Saturday that they have made their “last, best and final” offer, as they seek to end the 114-day actors’ strike.

The offer includes an enhanced residual bonus for high-performing streaming offers. Under the proposal, actors appearing in the most-watched shows on each platform would see their remaining standard streams doubled.

This is an increase from the deal submitted to the Writers Guild of America, which won a 50% residual bonus for writers on the best-performing shows.

The package also includes comprehensive AI protections and the highest minimum increase in 40 years.

The Zoom meeting included eight leaders from seven studios: Disney’s Bob Iger, Warner Bros.’ David Zaslaw. Discovery, NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Paramount’s Brian Robbins, Amazon’s Mike Hopkins and Gene Salke, and Amazon’s Tony Vinciquera. Sony.

At the meeting, Sarandos sought to remind union leaders that the offer is generous.

“We didn’t just come at you,” he told them, according to a source. “We came for you all the way.”

The relatively short meeting came a day after the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers spelled out the terms of its “blanket” bid for the union.

SAG-AFTRA leaders said Saturday that they would need more time to analyze and respond to the offer. The guild’s leadership is expected to meet with each other later Saturday, and then will advise studios on next steps.

On the studio side, there remained some pessimism and frustration toward SAG-AFTRA’s leadership, which they saw as unnecessarily delaying talks.

However, the union stressed that many of the issues on the table are “existential” for the actors.

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In an email to members at 3pm on Saturday afternoon, the union informed that the studios had submitted their “last, best and final” offer.

The union said: “We are reviewing them and considering our response in the context of the critical issues addressed by our proposals.” “As always, unless it is from your guild, please do not believe any outside sources or rumors.”

By invoking the words “last, best and final,” studios seek to convey that they will not make any further moves. In a typical negotiation, this language suggests that the union’s only alternative is to strike. However, in this case, SAG-AFTRA had already been on strike since July 14.

The two sides have been engaged in ongoing negotiations over the past 12 days to try to end this crisis.

The studios have made it clear they want to end the strike as quickly as possible. Given the time pressures of the production schedule, they have warned that without an agreement in the near term, they may have to cancel TV shows and delay further theatrical releases.

Artificial intelligence remains among the most difficult issues to solve. The guild has been told that it should have some protection against the creation of “digital doubles,” and it appears the studios’ latest offer still hasn’t quite gotten there.

It remains unclear whether an agreement can be reached this weekend.

Negotiators have spent much of last week ironing out many of the finer points on the AI ​​issue, including the scope of approvals required to use AI. This issue is particularly important for background actors, many of whom fear they will be the first to be replaced by digital versions of themselves.

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Throughout the industry, there was widespread optimism that the strike had reached its final days – although it exceeded most expectations.

SAG-AFTRA reminded members in an email Saturday of the picket schedule for next week, noting that there will be no picketing on Friday due to Veterans Day. The guild also advised members that they could pick up collectible hit buttons in each piece of the studio.

This story has been updated with details of the meeting.