SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood studios will work through the weekend in an effort to reach a new three-year contract deal after the companies submitted their final offer to the union on Friday.
Both sides met Friday as negotiations continue on an agreement that could end the 113-day actors’ strike, which has become the longest TV/theatrical strike in the union’s history. A studio side source said the meeting between the two sides appeared to go well, and the ball is now in SAG-AFTRA’s court.
Talks have been halting all week, and how the contract will address AI has been a major focus. SAG-AFTRA presented the studio with a new AI proposal on Wednesday, as the union sought to close potential loopholes that could jeopardize the work of its members. As the workers’ group’s bargaining committee told members Thursday evening, the union also waited several days for responses to a “comprehensive” proposal package that touched on multiple issues that they delivered to companies on Saturday.
Still, expectations are generally high that the two sides are at least approaching a denouement in negotiations, albeit slowly. On Tuesday, SAG-AFTRA’s chief negotiator, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, told members he was “cautiously optimistic” about the negotiations, after his negotiating committee said a day earlier that they and management were “far apart on key issues” . On Tuesday, multiple sources told THR they felt a deal was at least in sight.
On Wednesday, a studio source said: “Things are still moving, but slowly.”
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher posted a photo of himself to Instagram on Friday with a girlfriend at an engagement party, noting that it was taken after a “long day at the office.” She wrote: ‘Finding balance is important. TGIF! Let’s hope the CEO of Amptp shows up again with a seal on the deal counter!” Time will tell whether SAG-AFTRA negotiators believe Friday’s proposal will do just that.