Studios and striking Hollywood actors to restart talks Tuesday

Negotiations between media companies and the SAG-AFTRA union representing striking Hollywood actors will resume Tuesday, October 24, the two sides announced.

Talks broke down in mid-October after renewed discussions hit a standstill over sticking points including a streaming revenue/subscription share proposal. The SAG-AFTRA union represents around 160,000 TV and film actors and media professionals. The workers have been on strike since July, which combined with an earlier writers strike brought productions largely to a standstill.

“As we mark the 100th day of our strike, we are pleased to confirm the company executives have asked us to return to the table. Official negotiations will resume on Tuesday, October 24,” the SAG-AFTRA TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee told members in a statement.

“Several executives from AMPTP member companies will be in attendance,” a joint statement noted.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) represents major streamers and media companies including Amazon, Netflix, Disney, Paramount, Warner Bros. Discovery and others.

During Netflix third-quarter earnings call last Wednesday, co-CEO Ted Sarandos said the company wants to resolve the strike and get everyone back to work, adding AMPTP member CEOs had prioritized the negotiations and “we were actually very optimistic that we are making progress.”

In terms of talks breaking down, he contended that at the end of the last session SAG-AFTRA presented a new demand “for a per subscriber levy unrelated to viewing or success, and this really broke our momentum unfortunately.”

Still, he said “we are incredibly and totally committed to ending this strike. The industry, our communities and the economy are all hurting. So we need to get a deal done that respects all sides as soon as we possibly can.”

On the other hand, in a statement to members, SAG-AFTRA last week said that it was not asking for too much. The union said in understanding AMPTP’s concern with its 2% revenue/subscription sharing proposal, SAG-AFTRA adjusted and dropped the ask to 1%.

“We did so, by restructuring our proposal, tailoring it to address their concerns. They responded by walking out and calling us greedy,” SAG-AFTRA said of studios.

The union went on to say that the revenue/subscription sharing is only one part of the proposed deal and asserted the “AMPTP continues to refuse to counter many of our absolutely vital proposals including the minimum wage rates that our membership are on strike to achieve.”

Hollywood film and TV writers represented by the Writers Guild of America reached a new three-year contract earlier this month, ending a 148-day work stoppage.