Union and Studios’ Second Round of Renewed Talks ‘Not Great’ – Deadline

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By journalsofus.com

Unique: The first day of the latest round of fresh talks between the studio and SAG-AFTRA has ended, with a proposed plan for the principals to meet again – possibly the next day or so.

Declared “suspended” by the studio on October 11 over a union plan for additional payments based on the success of a streaming show, now-revived discussions began today with AMPTP putting some new proposals on the table — a stellar one at this. reaction less than 103third Actor’s union strike day.

Labeled as “generous” by studio sources, the jewel in AMPTP’s negotiation crown on Tuesday called for “success-based compensation.” Trying to avoid the trap of revenue sharing and “subscriber levies” like Netflix Ted Sarandos This has been repeatedly rejected over the past two weeks, with talks now ongoing, with the CEO believing they have found a mechanism to “ensure members are paid more”. Have taken, as one insider said.

“It all depends, these negotiations depend on how the guild responds to this latest proposal,” another industry source told Deadline earlier today.

The reaction out of the gate was crystal clear. A person familiar with the deliberations told Deadline that the proposal “flopped.”

Still, while others also said the day turned out to be “not good” on several points and there were a lot of raw emotions over the negotiations that were abruptly halted by the studio two weeks ago, overall both sides were able to get through the discussions almost completely. Done for the day – which is, of course, much better than no conversation at all.

As they were in the final days of sealing the WGA deal and had an unsuccessful first round of renegotiations with SAG-AFTRA earlier this month, Disney’s bob igernbcuniversal Donna Langley warner bros discovery david zaslav and Netflix’s Sarandos were at the table with AMPTP President Carol Lombardini at the guild’s Wilshire Blvd. headquarters Tuesday.

Like last time, studio overlords face SAG-AFTRA president fran drescher, Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, Chief Contracts Officer Ray Rodriguez and others. The presence of the CEO Gang of Four was contained in a joint statement issued on October 21, 100th SAG-AFTRA strike day, talks resumption announced for today.

.Word was that today’s meeting started a little later than anticipated this morning. The delay was not due to any friction between the parties, but due to coordination of generally busy schedules.

Once things got going, at the top of today’s agenda, we understand that the studios were protesting SAG-AFTRA’s last proposal, which would have reduced their previous revenue sharing to a small percentage of the per client fee. . Described by one source as “more generous on a compensation basis”, AMPTP stated that they “wanted to ensure that artists are paid more.”

Since the beginning of bargaining between AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA this cycle, revenue sharing for the studios has been lost. The guild envisioned a system where cast members of hit streaming shows would see some lucrative bottom line – an idea that would be around 2%, later taking a 1% cut of the studio’s profits and then making about 57¢ per subscriber. Will be reconsidered as. Per streaming service.

Revenue sharing had already closed before the strike, when the CEO Gang of Four and the guild heads and negotiating committee officially sat down for the first time in more than 80 days on October 2. The fact that everything ended on October 11th and the studio walked out should not have been a big surprise – 1. Such a move is a tried-and-true AMPTP strategy. 2.

Now, the challenge for the studios and guilds regarding SAG-AFTRA’s final proposal is financial as well as philosophical. Sarandos called the customer payment proposal “a bridge too far”, while Crabtree-Ireland saw the proposal as a sign that the guild was flexible and open to further negotiations.

Interestingly, at this almost inflection or tipping point, both sides agree that the industry has changed dramatically, especially as a business. As with many topics, it’s the long tail of money that turned tinseltown jobs into middle-class careers over the past decades that drives the parties apart.

In a column published on Strike 100 on Deadlineth day, SAG-AFTRA leader Drescher wrote, “The 10-year grace period we AMPTP “It has become a serious obstacle for companies to build their own streaming platforms at the expense of fair compensation for my members.”

Drescher described how streaming has “cut off the syndication tail” and reduced the number of episodes and seasons used by working actors.

“Clearly, this is not in the old residual payment structure designed for linear TV and it is not in the current residual compensation for streaming. “It’s in the pockets of CEOs and on the balance sheets of companies.”

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As the actors’ strike hit the 100-day milestone on Saturday, there was a lot of activity, including a Zoom meeting on October 17 with stars including George Clooney, Emma Stone, Tyler Perry, Bradley Cooper, Arianne DeBose . Other; Many award-winning films are releasing before the end of the year. While a proposal led by Clooney included a $150 million commitment over three years to lift the cap on union dues and bring more cash into guild coffers, SAG-AFTRA leader Drescher expressed his gratitude on Instagram but said it The gesture was not legally compatible. with the union’s contract with the studio and that it “does not in any way affect the contract we are striking.”

Earlier on October 19, Crabtree-Ireland called the proposal and the idea of ​​the big stars going last on residual payments (which actually all happen at the same time) a “gesture of goodwill”.

Yet, while their proposals were very quickly panned by Labor, we understand that many of those same A-listers spent the past week reaching out to studio executives and bosses in the hopes that they’ll be brought back to the table. The persuasion and feedback the CEOs received to leave the talks was part of a collective decision to try one more time. A decision that was communicated to the guild in a call on Iger’s behalf to Crabtree-Ireland as early as 21 October – at least a proposal from the other side that was met with an almost immediate yes.

Additionally, during talks last week, SAG-AFTRA issued Halloween costume guidelines for members to avoid dressing as characters from affected companies and projects, which angered some.

Beyond such distractions, the tough reality for the city is that strikes continue to occur every day, delaying production schedules for new TV seasons, and even feature films.

Already, changes to next year’s theatrical schedule are underway, which will deal a greater financial blow to exhibitors who have struggled with the pandemic; And this time there will be no government relief money for them. Deadpool 3, which is half finished, will miss the first weekend of May release date at the beginning of summer and Paramount Mission: Impossible 8 Starting in late June 2024 through Memorial Day weekend 2025. On a later note, that’s more than five billion dollars that the global box office won’t see next year.

As far as the small screen is concerned, hopes that the writers would be back at work at the end of September and that the momentum of their hard-fought deal would take care of the actors are dashed for the time being. The desire to air new scripted shows by the end of January to save at least the back half of the 2023/2024 TV season is becoming even further out of reach, especially if guilds and CEOs can’t strike until Halloween. an agreement to end the strike

Looking at the bigger economic picture, AMPTP’s months-long battle with the Writers Guild and now SAG-AFTRA has contributed to a $6.5 billion loss to the California economy. With the WGA on strike from early May to late September, and the Actors Union joining them in mid-July, that economic blow cost the industry 45,000 jobs, and over $400 million at the fall box office. Got beaten. Office (compared to pre-pandemic 2019, for the period after Labor Day through October 18).

Without stars to promote big films, as they did for the summers of Barbie and Oppenheimer (who together grossed US$2.38 billion), many films grossed less than their opening days after mid-July. Has decreased because they are not able to explode. In traditional ways at Comic-Cons and fall festivals. “If they don’t promote, it hurts the box office, which hurts their bid for the next big project,” one studio distribution executive told us recently of stars’ inability to do press during the strike. Told about.

On picket lines on both coasts and elsewhere, it 103third On the day of the strike, members were offering strong support to the negotiating committee:

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