SAG-AFTRA Takes Another Day to Respond to Studios’ ‘Best and Final’ Offer

UPDATED: SAG-AFTRA will take another day to respond to the studios’ “last, best and final” offer, as the union’s negotiating committee continues to weigh its next move.

In an email to members just before midnight on Sunday, union leaders said they had spent all day discussing the proposal internally and would continue to do so on Monday.

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“The TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee analyzed and thoroughly discussed the AMPTP’s counter proposal all day and well into the night and will continue our deliberations on Monday,” the union said. “We will keep you updated.”

The studios last talked to union leadership on Saturday afternoon, when a large group of CEOs sought to make clear that they will not make further concessions.

After that meeting, some members of the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee expressed dissatisfaction with the studios’ offer. At least four of them retweeted a post that urged A-list actors to pressure the studio heads to come back with better terms.

“The time has come for you to put pressure on the CEOs,” wrote the poster, Chelsea Schwartz, a SAG-AFTRA strike captain. “Call the studio heads. Shout at them on social media. Tell them to accept our deal. You can help us end this strike and save our profession! We’re stronger together!”

Hollywood is eagerly awaiting the union’s response, as many hope to return to work as soon as possible after a six-month labor stoppage.

During the brief Zoom meeting on Saturday, SAG-AFTRA leaders advised that they would need more time to analyze and discuss the studios’ offer before giving their response. It was left unclear when the union would respond, though at least some on the studio side hoped to get a response on Sunday.

As of Sunday afternoon, however, it appeared that the response would have to wait until Monday, as the union continued to discuss the proposal internally.

The studios’ offer includes a success-based bonus structure in streaming. Under the proposal, actors would get double their typical residual if they appear in a show that ranks among the most-watched on a streaming platform.

The studios have steadily improved that bonus as the talks have gone on, but they have not acceded to the union’s demand for a cut of total streaming revenue.

The studios also offered protections against artificial intelligence, and what the studios have described as “historic” wage increases. The union has held out for robust protections against the use of AI to create “digital doubles.” The fears are especially acute for background actors, who could be among those first replaced by AI technology.

By invoking the term “last, best and final,” the studios are signaling that there will be no further negotiations, and that the offer on the table is essentially a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. However, the union can push back on elements it dislikes, and always has the option to remain on strike.

The strike is now in its 115th day.

Updated with SAG-AFTRA’s email to members Sunday night.

Cynthia Littleton contributed to this story.

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