Sarah Silverman isn’t so pissed off any more about the interim agreements that SAG-AFTRA has been handing out, but the comedian is still pretty “cynical” about the whole thing.
Less than 48 hours after talking to social media to rail against about the dozens of deals the striking 160,000-member strong guild is making which allow film and TV production supposedly not affiliated with AMPTP companies to move forward, Silberman has had a come to Fran moment, kinda.
“Okay, I met with SAG leadership last night in the form of fearless Fran Drescher and Duncan Crabtree -Ireland, Silverman revealed online Saturday of her conversation with the guild present and National Executive Director over the 100+ approved projects, as SAG-AFTRA themselves noted yesterday.
Laying out the argument she and other critics heard from Drescher and Crabtree-Ireland, the past frequent participant on the picket lines explained on her Instagram feed what had been explained to her:
The interim agreements means that these indie productions are agreeing and adhering to all the terms that SAG wants, the ideal version of what of what we’re fighting for. And then anyone who wants to buy those productions, streaming or cable or whatever AMPTP owned movie theater, etc, they have to adhere to those SAG terms, or, or whatever has finally been agreed upon at the end of all of this, which will likely be something a little less than everything SAG. wants, but still be great.
So, from the SAG leadership’s perspective, this shows the AMPTP that it proves to them that what we’re asking for is not unreasonable and can be done and in fact, is being done and it forces them to either either participate in it if they want the product, the film or the TV show.
Admitting that she was still not 100% sold on the philosophy behind the interim agreements and thought maybe guild bosses were being a bit too “dreamer” in their approach, former I Love You, America host Silverman hoped “that I described the different perspectives clearly and fairly.” – as you can see in her post below:
Looking to find middle ground and “happy” that crews were at least able to pick up some work as SAG-AFTRA and the WGA take to the streets against the studios and streamers, Silverman also noted what she still considers the “real stink of loophole” about the so-called waivers for projects with the likes of big stars and distributors like Paramount Global attached to them.
Leaning into that side of the argument, she made a point today of noting “people have been on the picket lines in 95 degree weather every day, in pelting son and …picketing is crucial.” Silverman then got down and practical. “But make no mistake, it’s performative, its purpose is to bring eyes to the movement to the cause. And the cause is that every single one of us is striking, It’s this cause is a work stoppage. That’s our power.”
“So there you go, the black and white and all the shades of grey as much as my pea brain can can process it.”
Bringing it back around, Silverman added:
For me, I feel extremely comfortable agreeing to disagree and working together, picketing and telling the AMPTP that they can fucking kick rocks because the truth is, we all want the same thing. We want to swift end to this strike, we want to get back to work having one crucial new benefits.
The Sarah Silverman of July 29 is still a fair cry from the Sarah Silverman of July 27.
“I feel fucking pissed off, and I know I just must not be understanding something,” Silverman said in her post of two days ago decrying the interim agreements. “There are like 40 movies being made right now. Movie stars are making movies because they’re independent movies, and SAG is allowing it because if they do sell it to streaming, it has to be because streaming is abiding by all the things we’re asking for.
“That’s just working,” she declared, expressing a POV heard on many on the picket lines in the last week.
On Friday, after Deadline published a piece on Silverman’s initial post, SAG-AFTRA’s Crabtree-Ireland said in a statement: “We’ve met with Sarah Silverman and other actors to provide more information, context, and resources around the interim agreements. Our members remain united and all-in for our fight to secure fair, equitable, and respectful contracts.”
Earlier Saturday, as exclusively reported by Deadline, Viola Davis revealed she was walking away from a film that had received an interim agreement to commence production “I love this movie, but I do not feel that it would be appropriate for this production to move forward during the strike,” the EGOT winner said of G20.
Other big name projects that have scored interim agreements up to now so include Apple TV+’s series Tehran, New Line pickup The Watchers from Ishana Night Shyamalan, Glenn Close’s The Summer Book and A24 titles Mother Mary and Death of a Unicorn. The Gray House, a Civil War spy drama series that is being produced by Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman was given an interim agreement.
Interestingly, in the comments to today’s Silverman post, a high-profile member of the WGA and DGA expressed his own poignant hesitations about the interim agreements and the thinking fueling them.
Looking at the long labor game, I’m a Virgo creator and director Boots Riley, wrote:
Since the interim agreement adheres to the final amptp settlement at the end of the strike, it makes it so that- as you said- there was very little work stoppage, making it so that the AMPTP can stall for longer and concede less. They actually have a goal of breaking the unions by having a long strike and very little concessions. AMPTP doesnt actually think the demands are unreasonable. They think they dont HAVE to give in to those demands because they havent yet been forced to. The big demands- residuals, AI- arent ones that get “proven” to be reasonable during production anyway. They come up later. There are 102 films w the interim agreement so far, with MANY more that will get it before the strike is over. In 2022, there were 1300 movies that got produced. If you add the first half of this year with the hundreds thag will produce under the interim agreement, there will barely be a slowdown. So why would AMPTP concede on much of anything? They have very little forcing them to.
Holding a massive strike authorization vote mandate in their pocket, SAG-AFTRA board called their first joint strike with the WGA since 1960 on July 13 after contract talks with the studios and streamers proved a dead-end. Bringing an already production hobbled Hollywood to a halt, the actors’ union were quickly out on both coasts with the WGA , who have been on strike themselves since May 2.
Despite calls from all guilds and C-suites for a quick and reasonable resolution to the strikes, there has been no official contact between the parties in recent weeks and no new talks are scheduled.