SAG-AFTRA notified members Monday night that negotiations would resume on Tuesday, but warned that the two sides remain “far apart” on key issues.
Unions and major studios have been negotiating for a week, focusing on issues such as higher minimum payments, a new retention model in streaming and artificial intelligence.
“Today, the committee acted independently. We are scheduled to meet with AMPTP on Tuesday,” the union informed its members. “While talks over the past week have been productive, there remain gaps on important issues.”
The union called on its members to keep up the pressure on the studios, including posting on social media and joining picket lines.
Studios warned this week that unless a deal is reached, it will be impossible for broadcasters to recoup half a season of scripted television. The 2024 summer movie season is also increasingly in jeopardy as more films are postponed to 2025.
Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the union’s chief negotiator, appeared on the picket line Monday morning and said he remained “cautiously optimistic” about negotiations.
“As long as we’re moving things forward, as long as we keep talking, that needs to happen,” he said. “Progress is being made, and that is a source of continued cautious optimism for me.”
The union has sought to establish a regulatory framework for the use of artificial intelligence to create “digital doubles”. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers says it agrees that actors must consent to and be compensated for the use of AI, but the union has long argued that “the devil is in the details.”
Crabtree Ireland said on Monday that the union still wants AI consent to be limited to a single project. He said the studio instead wants the agreement to be in effect throughout the franchise’s operations.
The union is also seeking to give it veto power over the use of AI, an idea that studios are resisting.