Negotiations between Hollywood’s actors and studios continued throughout the week, with an eye on resolving the remaining issues and putting an end to the 115-day strike.
As the week wore on, it was reported that the tone of negotiations “shift[ed] towards pessimism.” The AMPTP negotiators waited until the end of the day Friday to respond to a proposal made by SAG-AFTRA on Tuesday.
On a positive note, it appears that the tricky issue of calculating residual payments for actors has been resolved. The principal remaining issue appears to be the actors’ request to limit the studios’ ability to use AI to generate on-screen content that uses an “actor’s likeness.”
The most recent counteroffer from the AMPTP includes “strong” measures to limit the use of AI, a point that was emphasized during an hour-long Zoom meeting on Saturday held between the studio heads and SAG-AFTRA negotiators.
“We didn’t just come toward you, we came all the way to you,” Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos said on the issue of AI protections. The studios characterized their Friday counter-proposal as being their “last, best, and final offer.”
Both sides are expressing urgency to resolve the impasse, as the 2024 release calendar hangs in the balance. This year’s labor strikes have already had a large impact on the industry, with 45,000 jobs lost since the strikes began in May and an estimated $1.5 billion of box office shifted out of 2024 after release dates for ELIO, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART TWO and SNOW WHITE were pushed back into 2025. Costs are continuing to rise while the actors and studios remain deadlocked.