SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood studios delayed their negotiations for this Thursday because the union chose to give itself more time to respond to the businesses’ most recent proposals.

After what sources characterize as a dull resumption to discussions on Tuesday, SAG-AFTRA will address the firms’ offers during the face-to-face meeting on Thursday. On that day, management representatives—including CEOs of Warner Bros. Discovery and Disney, Netflix and NBCUniversal Studio Group, Ted Sarandos and Donna Langley, and CEO David Zaslav of Disney—presented a modified version of the success-based streaming bonus that the company had previously provided to the union. This is a rework of the idea that the Writers Guild of America approved in September to give members recognition for their successful streaming endeavors.

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However, it still falls short of what SAG-AFTRA had been fighting for. Initially, the union requested a 2 percent revenue split from shows that were aired on streaming platforms; however, the negotiators eventually agreed to a 1 percent stake. The union changed course and started charging streaming subscribers after the studios made it clear that this was a major sticking point.

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The rationale behind this move was that, if the labor union could create a structure that would pay members more generously as the streaming industry expanded, it wouldn’t have to fight tooth and nail every three years to increase streaming residuals. However, the studio side backed down on that point as well, abandoning talks on October 11 for over two weeks in part because of this most recent request.

According to a union-side source, as of right now, the union believes the studios’ success-based streaming bonus proposal would only impact roughly 40 of the roughly 600 shows and would bring in an additional $27 million annually (as opposed to the $500 million annually that SAG-AFTRA proposed earlier this month).

READ MORE: Actors Feel Bolder And More Enthusiastic Following Writers’ Deal And Before SAG-AFTRA Talks

The studios also suggested on Tuesday raising the artists’ contractually stipulated minimum wages by a higher amount each year. In the first year of the contract, management proposed a 7 percent salary increase, up from the 5 percent they had previously offered, and an additional 11 percent for background performers. To account for inflation, SAG-AFTRA has been pushing for an 11 percent raise for all performers in this first year; therefore, it is unclear how the union will respond to this most recent action.

According to the union-side source, as of Tuesday, there were still significant issues that needed to be addressed. These included restrictions on health and pension contributions, increases to streaming residuals, and rules governing the use of artificial intelligence. It is widely believed that the CEOs will remain to handle the major issues on SAG-AFTRA’s agenda, with the customary Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers negotiators taking care of the remaining matters.


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