Midnight Deadline Passes With No Word From SAG-AFTRA or Studios

The deadline for a deal to avert the first double strike in Hollywood since 1960 has passed without word from either SAG-AFTRA or the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). In other words, Hollywood and everyone else paying attention to this situation are still holding their collective breath.

The current contract between the studios and the actors’ guild expired on July 12, at 11:59 pm PT. Per an earlier tweet from the guild, “the parties will continue to negotiate under a mutually agreed upon media blackout,” which we have to assume remains the case.

But the silence doesn’t necessarily mean a deal is imminent. SAG-AFTRA spokespersons have clarified in previous comments to TheWrap that a strike could be voted upon by the guild’s national board and officially called at any time after the contract deadline passes. Starting that process would not necessarily be made immediately upon the contract’s expiration.

SAG-AFTRA started negotiating with AMPTP in early June, following the approval of a strike authorization by an overwhelming percent of guild members. Among the key issues are stricter regulations on self-taped auditions, rules regarding consent and compensation for AI recreations of performers’ work and likeness, and increases in residuals for streaming films and TV shows.

SAG-AFTRA negotiators entered talks with the AMPTP in early June with a strike authorization given to them by the votes of over 63,000 members. Among the key issues include stricter regulations on self-taped auditions, rules regarding consent and compensation for AI recreations of performers’ work and likeness, and increases in residuals for streaming films and TV shows.

On Tuesday, SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP both agreed to inviting a neutral mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service for the final day of talks, but SAG-AFTRA voiced its frustration with AMPTP after the studio reps’ request for mediation was reported in the press before the guild’s negotiating committee was notified.

“The AMPTP has abused our trust and damaged the respect we have for them in this process. We will not be manipulated by this cynical ploy to engineer an extension when the companies have had more than enough time to make a fair deal,” the guild said in a statement.

More to come…


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