SAG-AFTRA’s negotiating committee said company executives asked to return to the bargaining table with official talks underway today. The request came on the guild’s 100th day on the picket line.
“It is clear that the strength and solidarity shown by our members has sent an unmistakable message to the CEOs,” the committee said in an update. “As we have repeatedly said, we are ready, willing and able to engage on a moment’s notice to meet and to work across the table to achieve a deal that is worthy of your sacrifice.”
The committee also warned that the next few days could result in “noise” surrounding the talks.
“Do not believe anything you hear until it comes from us,” the committee said.
SAG-AFTRA joined striking Hollywood writers in July after their contract expired. The writers have since struck a deal with studios and returned to work, but the actor’s guild has had a more difficult time finding common ground with executives, and tensions are running high.
Talks between the two parties broke down earlier this month when the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, AMPTP, declared the “gap” between the two parties was “too great.” Actors are demanding a new streaming residual formula of $500 million, but the AMPTP is only willing to pay $20 million, making said “gap” $480 million.
Last week, Deadline reported that major names in Hollywood like George Clooney, Emma Stone, Ben Affleck, Tyler Perry, and Scarlett Johansson proposed that the guild remove the cap on dues for high-earning members in order to put more funds towards the union’s budget over the next three years.
The A-listers said they were willing to pay more than their share of union dues – currently capped at $1 million in earnings – to help bridge the gap between SAG-AFTRA’s $500 million streaming residual formula and the $20 million the AMPTP is willing to pay.
SAG-AFTRA said “the generous concept is worthy of consideration,” but the revenue and subscription sharing model is just one piece of the strike’s puzzle.
It remains to be seen what progress – if any – the actors and studio executives will make now that negotiations have restarted.