SAG-AFTRA and studios extend contract talks until July 12

SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have extended contract talks until midnight on July 12, delaying the expiration of their current deal, which would have otherwise expired at 11:59 p.m. Friday.

Although the extension does not guarantee that the groups will reach agreement on a new contract, similar extensions of contract talks between AMPTP and the Actors Guild occurred in 2014 and 2017, when previous contracts expired.

Both SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP declined to comment in accordance with the customary media blackout during Hollywood labor talks.

Before talks began earlier this month, an overwhelming majority of SAG-AFTRA members voted to authorize guild leaders to call a strike if a satisfactory agreement is not reached. Key issues include tighter rules on self-taped auditions, rules related to consent and compensation for the re-creation of artists’ work and likenesses using so-called “AI”, and an increase in residuals for streaming movies and TV shows. Is.

In a video message to members released a week ago, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher and National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said they were optimistic about the progress of the talks.

Drescher said, “I just want to assure you that we are having an extremely productive dialogue that focuses on all of the important issues that you have told us are most important to you.” “And we’re standing firm and we’re going to get a significant deal.”

But days later, more than 1,000 SAG-AFTRA members, including A-listers like Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence, signed an internal letter urging the guild’s negotiating committee not to settle on “less than a transformative deal.” .

“We feel that our wages, our art, our creative freedom and the power of our union have all been undermined over the past decade. We need to reverse those trajectories,” the letter continued. “We want you to know that we would prefer to go on strike than compromise on these fundamental points, and we believe that, if we settle for anything less than a transformative settlement, the future of our union and our craft Will weaken, and SAG-AFTRA will enter next negotiation with huge low leverage.

The members’ letter read, “This is not the moment to meet in the middle, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that the eyes of history are upon us all.” “We want you to push for the changes we all need and the protections we deserve and make history by doing so. If you are not able to reach there, we request you to use the strength we have given to you, membership, and join the WGA on the picket lines. For our union and its future, this is our moment. We hope that, from our side, you will meet that moment and will not miss it.

Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Quinta Brunson among over 300 actors threatening to strike over 'fundamental' issues like AI

If SAG-AFTRA strikes, it will be the first time since 1960 that Hollywood has been hit by two guild strikes at the same time. This would immediately stop major film productions shooting outside the US, such as Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two,” despite the ongoing WGA strike.

Even the prospect of an actors’ strike has had a massive impact. Several studios, including Marvel Studios, Netflix and Universal, are skipping San Diego Comic-Con next month. The actors’ strike will also likely lead to the postponement of this year’s Emmys broadcast, as the nominated actors will not be attending the ceremony or any awards campaign. Preparations for the Sept. 18 75th Emmys are set to begin on July 15, three days after the new SAG-AFTRA deadline.

Some SAG-AFTRA members have told TheWrap that they are ready to strike to reverse the volatile trends in Hollywood. Among them is the increasing difficulty for members to earn the roughly $26,000 a year required to qualify for SAG-AFTRA’s health plan. Similar to WGA members, whose picket lines have been joined by thousands of SAG-AFTRA members, there is a feeling that this round of contracts is the workers’ best opportunity to secure a future where more Hollywood workers are unable to make ends meet.

SAG-AFTRA leaders say they remain 'optimistic' about 'extremely productive' talks with studios (VIDEO)

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