SAG-AFTRA Negotiations Progress Amid Optimism, Though No Deal Yet

Negotiations for Hollywood’s largest union, SAG-AFTRA, continued over the weekend, sparking a renewed sense of optimism even though a final deal has not been reached.

Discussions concerning the next three-year contract for SAG-AFTRA concluded after a weekend of talks, with both the union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) yet to schedule a formal bargaining return date. Despite this, the talks have been described as productive, signaling progress in the negotiations. Key points of the deal, including compensation for streaming work and regulations on AI, are still under discussion.

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This positive development follows a warning from studios to the union leadership last week. Studios made it clear that if no resolution is in sight by the first week of November, or even as early as November 1, it would jeopardize the 2024 summer movie slates. This could lead to a suspension of talks until the new year, a concerning prospect for all parties involved.

Over the weekend, the union presented its latest responses to the studio, and discussions continued on Sunday, with representatives from both sides engaging in talks without top studio executives. SAG-AFTRA tweeted that they had discussed all open proposals, including AI, and both parties would continue independently on Monday, resuming scheduling discussions at the end of the day.

There is widespread anticipation that these recent rounds of negotiations could lead to a tentative deal. Both the union and management have been actively exchanging proposals, focusing on issues such as improving streaming compensation for members and raising wage floors to account for recent inflation.

As negotiations progress, more than several thousand SAG-AFTRA members signed a letter in support of the union’s leadership. The letter expressed their determination to continue the strike rather than accept an unfavorable deal. Prominent signatories include Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Cynthia Nixon, Leslie Odom Jr., Demi Moore, Jon Hamm, and others.

This statement of support followed a previous group of actors who had considered a critical letter addressing SAG-AFTRA leadership due to their frustration with the negotiations. However, this letter was not released as the union returned to the bargaining table with the studios on October 24.

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