In an open letter to the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee, thousands of stars said they remain committed to the strike until an acceptable deal is reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, AMPTP. The letter includes signatories like Christian Slater, Pedro Pascal, Kerry Washington, and Sarah Paulson.
“We have not come all this way to cave now,” the letter reads. “We cannot and will not accept a contract that fails to address the vital and existential problems that we all need fixed.”
Actors and Hollywood studio representatives returned to the bargaining table today after several meetings this week. Thursday’s meeting lasted for five hours, according to Deadline, but the actors guild — now over 100 days on the picket line — is “cautiously optimistic.”
“[W]e passed a comprehensive counter across the table to the CEOs and while talks for the day have ended, our committee just completed working internally tonight,” the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee said in an update on Thursday.
In addition, members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees along with other Hollywood workers assembled outside of City Hall in Los Angeles on Thursday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The group echoed the demand from actors, writers, and directors for Gov. Gavin Newsome to intervene in negotiations and put pressure on the AMPTP to make a deal with actors.
Talks between the two parties broke down earlier this month when the 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.
Not long after, major names in Hollywood 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 the two parties.
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 actors guild has had a more difficult time finding common ground with executives, and tensions are running high. Despite writers being back to work, the ongoing actors strike means production is still halted or delayed on many shows and movies. Mission Impossible 8, A Quiet Place: Day One, and Kraven are among the stalled projects, according to Variety. In addition, Disney’s live-action remake of Snow White as well as Pixar’s Elio, have both that their original 2024 release dates pushed back to 2025.
It remains to be seen what progress – if any – the actors and studio executives will make ahead of the weekend.
Image credit: SAG-AFTRA