As the pressure to negotiate an agreement ending the industry-freezing strike intensifies, SAG-AFTRA announced on Monday that it had reacted to Hollywood studios’ “Last, Best & Final Offer”. In a note to its members, the actors’ union stated that there are still several “essential items” on which the parties cannot agree, including the application of artificial intelligence.
Each member of the union’s negotiating committee, according to the union, “is determined to secure the right deal and thereby bring this strike to a responsible conclusion.”
The two sides are trying to end the impasse in time to save the rest of the winter broadcast season, but it’s still unclear whether a settlement to end the nearly four-month-long strike can be reached. In recent days, the standoff has become more urgent.
The Four-Month SAG-AFTRA Strike
The timing of an agreement to end the nearly four-month-long strike is still unknown, but in recent days, the two sides have been trying harder to find a way to end the impasse in time to save the remaining winter television season.
SAG-AFTRA, an organization that represents 160,000 actors, declared on July 14 that its members will join the writers on strike in an unprecedented double walkout against the studios by leaving their sets. Actors and writers alike feel that artificial intelligence (AI) presents an existential danger to their careers, which is why both unions have pushed for limitations on its usage.
A Brand-New Deal
Early in October, the Writers Guild of America union members approved a new deal with Hollywood and television studios. It contained guarantees that artificial intelligence (AI) cannot compose or revise literary works and that authors must be informed of AI-generated content.
5,000 SAG-AFTRA members signed an online petition demanding a firm stance in negotiations toward a final agreement, stating they would not accept a contract that did not match the objectives outlined at the beginning of the strike, despite the optimism for a deal.