Talks fail between actors' union and studios, leaving Hollywood stagnant

Negotiations between the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have broken down after just under two weeks. The key points of contention between the actors and studios are wages and protections regarding the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the industry.

The AMPTP claims that SAG-AFTRA's offer would cost studios over $800 million per year, which they argue would create an unsustainable economic burden. SAG-AFTRA's negotiating team, however, accuses the studios of misrepresenting the cost by overstating it by 60%. The two parties also disagree on the guardrails that should be attached to the use of AI.

As a result of the breakdown in talks, the strike will continue, causing disruptions to marketing campaigns and preventing production on many film and television projects. While some talk shows have returned following the Writers Guild of America's (WGA) recent deal with the AMPTP, most scripted programs remain on hold. Some independent productions have managed to continue by agreeing to SAG-AFTRA's interim agreement.

If negotiations do not resume or result in a resolution soon, theatrical film release dates will be delayed, affecting box office revenues, and television releases will be pushed back as well.

Hopes for a quick resolution were dashed when negotiations took a turn for the worse. The AMPTP stated that the gap between the two parties was too significant to bridge, while SAG-AFTRA's negotiators claimed that the AMPTP's proposal was worth less than what was offered before the strike began.

The AMPTP argues that the terms being disputed, such as general wage increases and residuals for streaming, are the same terms that the WGA and the Directors Guild of America ratified. However, SAG-AFTRA is seeking improvements in wages, working conditions, health and pension benefits, as well as guardrails for the use of AI. They also want more transparency from streaming services regarding viewership to ensure equitable residual payments.

As the strike continues, the industry faces further disruptions, and the resolution seems uncertain.


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