“Cautious optimism” on SAG-AFTRA strike

Union says latest offer is under consideration in an apaprent sign of progress in Actors' Strike.

US media report “Cautious optimism” on negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and US studios as the actors’ strike continues at 105 days.

SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP have agreed to meet again Friday (Saturday Australian time), after negotiations mid week.

They included union president Fran Drescher, chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland and other guild leadership, Disney’s Bob Iger, NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley Warner Bros Discovery’s David Zaslav and Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, plus AMPTP president Carol Lombardini.

Deadline reports using their hard-fought deal with the Writers Guild as a baseline, the studios had put forth a 7% increase in minimums. It is understood that SAG-AFTRA, which has been discussing an 11% rise, recognised the tactical heft of the move and offered a compromise that lessened the gap between the two.

Having “evolved,” as one guild source put it, its revenue-sharing demand, a studio source said the ideas the guild countered with Thursday are “something we can work with.”

The 7% increase would “break the pattern” — allowing SAG-AFTRA leadership to show members that their months on the picket lines were worth it.

But “Nothing was resolved,” one studio source said.

According to Variety, the studios have warned that next year’s summer blockbusters could be postponed, and TV shows could be cancelled, if no deal is reached in the coming week. The union sees that as an empty threat, but is also dealing with growing restlessness among its A-list members.

There is also a long list of unresolved items that have received less public attention, but which may take considerable time to sort out.

Stating that he was “cautiously optimistic,” the guild chief negotiator also told Deadline “we’re 100% focused on making a fair deal at the table.”

Formally, a spokesperson said, “SAG-AFTRA declines to comment due to our ongoing negotiations and deep focus on negotiating in good faith to secure a fair deal for SAG-AFTRA members.”

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