SAG-AFTRA & Studio CEOs Meeting Over; Guild Brass Conferring On “Historic” Contract Proposal From AMPTP

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EXCLUSIVE: Today’s meeting between SAG-AFTRA and an expanded group of studio CEOs has just ended as the guild scrutinizes the AMPTP‘s long awaited response to their last comprehensive counter.

On this 114th day of the actors strike, the top brass from Netflix, Disney, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Amazon, Sony, Warner Bros Discovery and more spoke with SAG-AFTRA leaders by zoom for approximately an hour to discuss the new document. “This is a full package, forward looking and fair,” a studio insider told Deadline of what the execs put on the virtual table.

“CEOs told them this was a historic package for the guild including strong AI protections,” said an exec close to the negotiations. “SAG-AFTRA now needs to get back to us,” another studio vet stated of where things are.

Currently, guild president Fran Drescher, chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland and other members of SAG-AFTRA’s negotiating committee are going over the AMPTP’s response and conferring on next steps,, we hear. Whether that will result in further discussions later today or tomorrow, November 5, is unclear at the moment. “We’ve all come a long way, so taking the time to go over the guts of this (the proposal) and the fine print is the only responsible way to approach this now,” a well-positioned guild member noted.

The package from the studios is said to include, but not be limited to, the highest wage increase in 40 years, and a 100% increase in performance compensation bonuses for high budget streaming series and movies. As well, so-called “full” AI protections are in there. The last measure “goes a long way to what SAG wanted,” an industry vet says.

“We didn’t just come toward you, we came all the way to you,” Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos is said to have told SAG-AFTRA leaders today of the studios’ latest offer.

Still, how close the parties are to nailing down a new three-year contract is hard to assess, sources from both sides say. Yet, perhaps tellingly, once again “cautious optimism” has become the phrase of choice on both sides now.

Saturday saw a much larger contingent of of studios CEOs zooming in to the talks than ever before for SAG-AFTRA negotiations and WGA deliberations. As they have been on and off over these talks and the final days of the successful WGA talks back in September, the Gang of Four– NBCUni’s Donna Langley, Warner Bros Discovery’s David Zaslav, Disney’s Bob Iger and Netflix’s Sarandos — were all there today. Also attending were Paramount Pictures CEO Brian Robbins, Disney’s Dana Walden and Co-Chairman Alan Bergman, Amazon Studios’ Mike Hopkins and Jen Salke, Sony Pictures chairperson Tony Vinciquerra, Apple Studios’ Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, we’re told

That showing is indicative of how stressed the studios are to restart Hollywood global TV and film production. Tinseltown has been shut down since the first went on strike in early May and SAG-AFTRA followed in mid-July. Latest economic estimates are that California’s has taken a $6.5 billion hit from the strikes and shutdowns, with over 45,000 entertainment industry jobs lost.

Looking on the studio side, the first half of the fall TV season has proven pretty much a bust besides unscripted shows and spoirts. On the big screen, the theatrical release schedule already has several gaps in it for 2024 with tentpoles and more being moved – more is assumed to come if the strike goes on much longer. This weekend at the box office totaled around $58 million for all movies, the third lowest YTD. That dismal gross is due to Legendary/Warner Bros.’ Dune: Part Two moving off the schedule to next year due to the actors strike.

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