SAG-AFTRA’s negotiating committee said Sunday it “remains ready at a moment’s notice to go back to the bargaining table to secure a righteous deal” to end the actors’ strike, which is now in its 46th day. “Unfortunately, as we’ve seen from the recent news out of the WGA negotiations, it appears the AMPTP is still unwilling to make the concessions necessary to make a fair deal that would bring the strikes to a close.”
SAG-AFTRA leaders have said that they’ve been ready to resume negotiations since its strike began and only are waiting for Carol Lombardini, president of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, to call them back to the bargaining table.
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On August 15, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG=AFTRA’s national executive director and chief negotiator, told reporters that “we remain very eager to get back to the table with the AMPTP, as we’ve said every day” since the actors’ strike began on July 14. “We have been ready, willing and able to continue bargaining with them and we very much want the AMPTP to come back to the table.”
He noted at that time, however, that “there’s been no contact by the AMPTP to SAG-AFTRA.”
The AMPTP has been focused on attempting to reach a deal with the Writers Guild, which has been on strike for 119 days, before resuming talks with SAG-AFTRA. The WGA’s last bargaining session was on Tuesday, after which time the WGA said that while some “progress” had been made, it was not enough to end its strike.
Following last Tuesday’s meeting with Lombardini and the CEOs of Disney, Netflix, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Discovery, the WGA told its members that the AMPTP latest contract offer, from August 11, “is neither nothing, nor nearly enough.”
SAG-AFTRA’s latest overture on Sunday comes as it continues to promote its interim agreements that allow “truly independent” film and television projects to shoot during the strike as long as they are not WGA-covered productions and agree to abide by whatever terms and conditions are eventually reached with the companies represented by the AMPTP.
The SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee told members on Sunday:
“Our solidarity remains more important than ever. It is for that reason we write to you now to expand on our conversation regarding the Interim Agreement. While feedback from the information sessions has been positive and we’ve received expressions of support for the strategy, there is a dynamic that needs addressing. Some of our fellow members have been subject to negative comments for participating in projects with an Interim Agreement, particularly when it comes time for them to promote their work, including at festivals. Whether from within or without our organization, not only are remarks of this nature unhelpful to performers, but by dividing us, they do the AMPTP’s work for them.
“To be crystal clear, once an agreement is in place, we fully encourage all of our SAG-AFTRA members to work under that agreement AND to promote work made under that agreement. The more projects that get made with the Interim Agreement, the weaker the AMPTP becomes. So, let’s lift up our fellow performers who are out there working.
“We believe that our strategy to employ the Interim Agreement is working well, and we want you to know that seeing our fellow performers go to work and promote their Interim Agreement projects, including at film festivals and beyond, is a source of pride. We are specifically striking the large studios and streamers. Those corporate entities are effectively shut down. From their executive suites, the CEOs can look out and see these independent projects thriving, while their greed and disrespect holds up their own productions.
“If the rights to distribute some of these projects made with the Interim Agreement are eventually acquired, it will be all to the good. A slate of projects with Interim Agreements is a slate of productions that yield to our deal.”
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