Monday June 17, 2024

Strike negotiations suspended between Hollywood actors, studios

Published : 12 Oct 2023, 23:34

  DF News Desk
The Screen Actors Guild statue is seen in front of the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, the United States, Jan. 20, 2015. The SAG awards will be presented on Jan. 25. File Photo: Xinhua.

Negotiations between Hollywood studios and the U.S. entertainment industry's largest union representing 160,000 actors and performers were suspended Wednesday night after the two sides failed to reach a deal, reported Xinhua.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) -- the entity that represents major studios and streamers, including Amazon, Apple, Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount, Sony, and Warner Bros Discovery -- said in a statement Wednesday night that the talks had been called off after the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) presented its most recent proposal on Wednesday.

"After meaningful conversations, it is clear that the gap between the AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA is too great, and conversations are no longer moving us in a productive direction," said the AMPTP.

"SAG-AFTRA's current offer included what it characterized as a viewership bonus that, by itself, would cost more than 800 million U.S. dollars per year -- which would create an untenable economic burden. SAG-AFTRA presented few, if any, moves on the numerous remaining open items," the AMPTP added.

The SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee said in a message to its members Thursday morning that "It is with profound disappointment that we report the industry CEOs have walked away from the bargaining table after refusing to counter our latest offer."

"These companies refuse to protect performers from being replaced by AI, they refuse to increase your wages to keep up with inflation, and they refuse to share a tiny portion of the immense revenue your work generates for them," the message noted.

The SAG-AFTRA denounced its opponents' "bullying tactics" and noted "We have sacrificed too much to capitulate to their stonewalling and greed."

"Our resolve is unwavering. Join us on picket lines and at solidarity events around the country and let your voices be heard," said the SAG-AFTRA.

The U.S. film and TV industry has shuddered to standstill since the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike in mid-July. The strike came two months after the start of the strike of another powerful Hollywood labor union, the Writers Guild of America (WGA), and its 11,500 members in May. Movie and TV productions in Hollywood have come to a nearly complete stop after the SAG-AFTRA and the WGA were striking simultaneously for the first time in over 60 years.

The WGA announced Monday that its members had ratified a new 3-year contract with the AMPTP, ending the union's strike that lasted nearly five months.