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As SAG-AFTRA responded to the studios’ latest contract offer on Monday, AI protections for high-income members remained a major sticking point.
Multiple sources familiar with the status of the negotiations say Hollywood Reporter SAG-AFTRA has backed away from the artificial intelligence clause included in the studios’ latest pitch. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers is seeking to secure AI sweeps for Schedule F performers — union members who earn more than the minimum for regular series actors ($32,000 per TV episode) and feature films ($60,000). The proposed provision would require studios and streamers to pay for similarity scanning of Schedule F performers. SAG-AFTRA is seeking to attach compensation for reusing AI scans as AMPTP member companies would also need to obtain the performer’s consent. The language currently in AMPTP’s proposal would see studios and broadcast companies secure the right to use scans of deceased performers without approval from their estates or SAG-AFTRA.
THR I have reached out to AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA for comment.
“This is one of the biggest reasons why SAG will not accept the ‘last, best and final’ offer from AMPTP. We cannot allow this language to stand,” says one union source. “This is massive. Every A, B, C, D, E – and all the top performers – who think this is a minimum wage strike, should know they’re in this fight. They need to realize that it is about protection they. This is their strike now when they realize what is at stake. “The people who campaigned for a deal – they will be angry – if we accept this deal with that one over there.”
SAG-AFTRA worked over the weekend on a counteroffer that was moved to AMPTP. A meeting between SAG-AFTRA’s chief negotiator, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, and his AMPTP counterpart, Carole Lombardini, was scheduled for Monday. Sources say the performers’ union planned to respond by removing the Schedule F AI language as well as some other no-money items.
“We believe this is not only reasonable, but absolutely vital to the sustainability of the performance industry,” says the source on the union side. “They can’t have this loophole to exploit performers. … [The Schedule F AI language in the AMPTP’s proposal] They have to die because they need approval when you are alive but not when you die.
On Monday afternoon, the SAG-AFTRA bargaining committee informed union members that it had responded to AMPTP’s latest offer. “Please know that every member of our TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee is determined to secure the right deal and thus end this strike responsibly,” the group stated. “There are many key items on which we have not yet reached agreement, including artificial intelligence. We will keep you updated as events develop.”
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