The months-long actors’ strike has wreaked havoc in Hollywood. Thousands of people are unemployed, production has been suspended and many industries have been affected, costing the California economy more than $5 billion.
Hollywood studios and streamers returned to the negotiating table with SAG-Aftra, the union that represents more than 150,000 actors, on Friday for what is their third round of meetings this week. These negotiations come after the public failure two weeks ago between SAG-Aftra and AMPTP, which represents Hollywood studios and streamers (including NBC’s parent company, Comcast).
Three sources close to the negotiations told NBC News that progress was made on many issues during Thursday’s negotiations, with one saying “it feels like the end is in sight.”
A second source said: “There is enormous pressure on both sides to reach an agreement.”
But two of those three sources say Friday’s meeting was “difficult.”
An insider said: “It’s a volatile situation, the two sides are very far apart on some key issues. »
NBC News has contacted SAG-Aftra and AMPTP for comment.
Early Friday morning, SAG-Aftra wrote on our committee just finished its internal work this evening. “
Among the main sticking points are residuals from the streaming era, protections around artificial intelligence and a tax on subscribers.
All sources confirmed a Variety report that AMPTP was proposing a 7% increase in minimum fares. When it comes to AI, the union wants control and veto power over how AI is used with its artists, something AMPTP is not prepared to accept, the sources said.
Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos spoke about the ongoing negotiations earlier this month and said the main issue preventing the two sides from reaching a deal was the subscriber tax. SAG-Aftra President Fran Drescher told NBC News at the time that the union had proposed that streamers pay 57 cents per subscriber for the three-year deal. Sarandos publicly criticized the suggestion, saying it would cost AMPTP more than $800 million a year, a figure Drescher called exaggerated. All sources indicated that Friday’s discussions focused primarily on this issue.
The impact of the Hollywood strike was felt across many industries, including transportation, dry cleaning and food service.
The August US jobs report estimates that more than 17,000 jobs were lost due to the strike which lasted more than 100 days, making it the longest in Hollywood history . The WGA, which represents more than 11,000 writers, reached an agreement last month after nearly 150 days of strike action.
With Hollywood practically at a standstill, many productions, including “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two,” have been pushed back to 2025 due to the strike.
Uncertainty hangs over the industry as the end-of-year holidays approach.
“Many players are depleting their savings and maxing out their credit cards. It’s disastrous. We need a deal and we need it now,” one source said.