The four CEOs are set to return to SAG-AFTRA headquarters on Tuesday with a new offer they hope will break the impasse in the 102-day cast strike.
Among them is Disney’s Bob Iger, who called Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA’s top negotiator, on Saturday to invite the cast back to the bargaining table.
The CEOs — who also include Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslau, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and NBC Universal’s Donna Langley — are eager to get a deal done as soon as possible in hopes of salvaging next summer’s box office and part of 2023. 24 TV Season.
On Monday, Paramount announced that the next “Mission: Impossible” installment has been pushed back from June 2024 to May 2025. Further delays may follow if the strike is not resolved soon.
Iger’s call raised the spirits of SAG-AFTRA leadership, confirming that the union has the leverage to win a transformative contract.
“We got the wind at our backs,” said one union official.
In an interview, Crabtree-Ireland said she, too, is optimistic.
“There’s no way forward without talking,” he said. “It’s important to have them in the room. If it’s with significant movement in key pieces, it’s even better.
The union is seeking an 11% increase in artificial intelligence protections and basic minimums. But the main hurdle is SAG-AFTRA’s demand for a cut of streaming revenue.
Negotiations broke down on Oct. 11 after the union proposed a 57 percent per-subscriber fee across all streaming platforms, which would cost studios $500 million a year. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said it would impose an “unacceptable economic burden”.
Fran Drescher, president of SAG-AFTRA, argued that a dramatic shift in the entertainment business model required a dramatically improved compensation system.
actors received That left $91.7 million in streaming in 2019 — more than earned by network reboots, but less than the amount earned by basic cable or pay TV channels like HBO and Showtime. The union received an increase in 2020, and the total grew to about $126 million in 2022, the union said.
The CEOs have already agreed to increase that number again to factor in foreign subscribers, and also offer the remainder of the audience-based bonus based on an agreement with the Writers Guild of America.
The latter is paid about $20 million a year, SAG-AFTRA said. The union said it was too low and the contract negotiated by the WGA would not be enough for actors.
The CEOs are expected to present their new offer on Tuesday, which is believed to be a significant improvement from the previous proposal.
Although talks have been suspended for nearly two weeks, both sides are still working on elements of the deal. AMPTP provided a response on AI last Thursday.
The union is seeking to establish minimum terms for using AI, including compensation and consent. The union wants to limit the practice of AI in the work of actors. The WGA tried to ban such practice, but that provision was not forthcoming.
On the studio side, there is hope, if not hope, that a deal will be reached soon. CEOs are frustrated with Drescher, who has spoken in the negotiating room about income inequality and his ambition to change the lives of actors.
“It seems to me they’re more concerned about their own legacy than ending the Hollywood disaster under their control,” said Jeff Rutheiser, ABC’s longtime senior vice president of labor relations. Pains.” “They just couldn’t figure out how to end it gracefully and announce the victory they had already won.”
The upbeat mood in the cast camp marked a change from last week, when leadership was pressured by George Clooney and other high-profile members to push back on social media over a contract and guidelines restricting members’ Halloween costumes.
Even under the best-case scenario, no one expects a deal to be reached on Tuesday. With dozens of items unresolved, it can take days or a week or more to reach a comprehensive agreement.
The union is demanding several items, including pension and health contribution limits, a one-page limit on self-taped auditions and dry-cleaning allowances for background actors.