Following up on the WGA and AMPTP’s negotiations, SAG-AFTRA has announced its intentions to sit down with the latter to create a new contract. There have been no offered dates for this week, but SAG-AFTRA promised that the discussions are on the table.
The AMPTP has not commented about the potential meetings, while SAG-AFTRA members have assured the public that they will possibly get dates for the following week. Even so, they warn the public that the situation is ripe for sudden changes as no negotiations have started. A SAG-AFTRA spokesperson explained, “When we do have dates confirmed, we will inform our members. No one should rely on speculation.”
This move for negotiation follows the WGA’s recent discussions and tentative agreements with the AMPTP. Like with SAG-AFTRA, the situation is tepid and could be easily imbalanced since the deal has not been fully reached. The WGA leaders are voting to decide whether to approve the terms offered. If the leaders agree to them, the contract will be presented to the over 12,000 guild members for a vote.
Still, both actors and writers have remained in solidarity throughout the strike and will likely continue to do so as they protest the issues that plague their careers. In SAG-AFTRA’s case, its members share similar fears of AI abuse and data storage as the WGA while still struggling with their issues. In a speech, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher decried the AMPTP’s ”maniacal corporate culture for greed” and announced that actors are not “grapefruits growing in an orchard.” “We’re people,” she said. “We’re artists. … We have to be thought of as partners. I’m not counting your shekels, but cut me in, God’s sake.”
Whether or not talks will officially begin next week, there’s no question that the joint strikes had and will continue to affect the entertainment industry overall. Not only have Marvel VFX artists been inspired to unionize with the IATSE, but on Monday, SAG-AFTRA authorized a strike against the video game industry, citing similar issues suffered by its actors. “This strike authorization makes an emphatic statement that we must reach an agreement that will fairly compensate these talented performers,“ Chief Contracts Officer Ray Rodriguez said. ”Our members’ livelihoods depend on it.”