THR Photo Illustration/Fraser Harrison/Getty Images
Negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood studios have been rescheduled for Thursday after the performers’ union decided to devote more time to providing responses to the companies’ latest proposals.
Thursday’s face-to-face meeting will see SAG-AFTRA respond to the companies’ offers after what sources described as a lackluster return to negotiations on Tuesday. On that day, management representatives — including Disney CEO Bob Iger, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, NBCUniversal Studio Group Chairman and Chief Content Officer Donna Langley, and Warner Bros. CEO Donna Langley — presented the presentation. Discovery’s David Zaslav – A modified version of the success-based streaming bonus that Etihad previously offered. It’s a version of a proposal accepted by the Writers Guild of America in September to reward members with successful broadcast projects.
But it’s still a far cry from what SAG-AFTRA stood for. First, the union sought a share of the revenue generated by series shown on streaming platforms (2 percent, which negotiators later reduced to 1 percent). When studios expressed that this was a big sticking point, the union focused on implementing fees for streaming subscribers, the idea being that if the working group could create a structure that would compensate members more generously as the streaming business grew, it wouldn’t happen. We have to fight tooth and nail to improve the residual flow every three years. But the studio side also disputed this point, and withdrew from negotiations for nearly two weeks on October 11, largely due to this latest request.
So far, says one guild source, the guild believes the studios’ hit-based streaming bonus proposal would only affect about 40 of the roughly 600 shows and would be worth about $27 million a year in additional revenue (compared to the proposal’s $500 million annually which SAG-AFTRA floated earlier this month).
The studios on Tuesday also proposed a larger annual increase in the contractually set minimum wages for performers. Management proposed a 7 percent pay increase in the first year of the contract, compared to the 5 percent it had put on the table earlier, and 11 percent for performers. However, SAG-AFTRA has called for an 11 percent raise for all performers in this first year to account for inflation, so it remains to be seen how the union will react to this latest move.
As of Tuesday, there were still major items remaining on the table that had not yet been resolved, including regulations on the use of artificial intelligence, increases in residual flow and pension and health contribution limits, according to a source on the union side. It is generally understood that the CEOs will stay on to address the larger items on SAG-AFTRA’s agenda, while the usual Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers negotiators handle the rest.
“Lifelong beer expert. General travel enthusiast. Social media buff. Zombie maven. Communicator.”