The actor’s strike is over! On Wednesday night, negotiators from the SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP agreed on terms allowing the actor’s strike to end, after 118 days and billions of dollars lost to the industry.
An end to the actors’ strike was expected to follow soon after the writers concluded their agreement with the studios on September 27th. However, when the studios turned their attention to the actors, it became clear that the earlier agreement between the writers and studios had not fully addressed certain key issues to the actors’ satisfaction. These were residual payments for content distributed on streaming platforms and protections from the use of Artificial Intelligence in creating content.
The SAG-AFTRA negotiators argued that actors should receive a percentage of the revenue streamers earned on their platforms, which was a step beyond what the studios had agreed to with the writers. This “levy” was flatly refused by AMPTP and eventually, the SAG-AFTRA backed off of this demand, accepting a residual payment that was similar to the final agreement with the WGA.
Regarding AI, the studios wanted the ability to use a “digital likeness” of deceased actors without needing permission from the actor’s estate. That stipulation was part of the “best and final” offer the AMPTP made over the weekend, which was refused by SAG. In the end, the AMPTP adjusted their language on the matter so that they would need the permission of a deceased actor’s estate to use their likeness. Apparently, this concession was an important, final adjustment to the terms that got the deal over the finish line.
News of the deal brought a huge sigh of relief from all corners of the entertainment industry. Production will resume quickly on major Hollywood movies including DEADPOOL 3, BEETLEJUICE 2, and VENOM 3, with the hope that currently scheduled release dates can hold.
Shortly after the deal was announced, Deadline published an extensive interview with SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher and head negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland. Both lamented the tactics used by the AMPTP to sit out negotiations for an extensive period, which they feel was a tactic to test the strength of union membership. In the end, they felt that this was a miscalculation that prolonged the strike and wound up producing deals that were favorable to the unions.
See also: “This Was A Negotiation For The Future”: Fran Drescher & Duncan Crabtree-Ireland On SAG-AFTRA Deal, AI & Informed Consent + Importance Of CEOs and ‘Deadpool 3’, ‘Gladiator 2’, ‘Beetlejuice 2’, ‘Juror No. 2’ & ‘Venom 3’ Among Film Productions To Restart ASAP As Hollywood Gets Back To Work Post-Strike (Deadline)