SAG-AFTRA to resume talks with studios as strike hits 100 days

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SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood studios will return to the bargaining table on Tuesday, the union announced Saturday.

The actors’ union and its more than 150,000 members have struck for 100 days, demanding better compensation, benefits and protections from artificial intelligence technology.

Negotiations between the two groups resumed earlier this month, but quickly broke off again after the studios said the union’s demands were not reasonable.

Union president Fran Drescher said the studios have not bargained in good faith.

“We only met with them a couple of times, Monday, half a day Wednesday, half a day Friday. That was what they were available for,” she told The Associated Press soon after the talks broke off. “Then this past week, it was Monday and a half a day on Wednesday. And then, ‘Bye-bye.’ I’ve never really met people that actually don’t understand what negotiations mean. Why are you walking away from the table?”

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), said the sticking point in negotiations has been fees for streaming revenue. According to the studios, represented in negotiations by AMPTP, the union is demanding a fee for every streaming service subscriber.

“SAG-AFTRA gave the member companies an ultimatum: either agree to a proposal for a tax on subscribers as well as all other open items, or else the strike would continue,” the AMPTP said in a statement to the AP. “The member companies responded to SAG-AFTRA’s ultimatum that unfortunately, the tax on subscribers poses an untenable economic burden.”

An actors’ strike has never lasted this long, with the previous record set at 67 days in 1980. The Hollywood writers’ union settled its own contract last month after a similarly-long strike.

The strike has paralyzed production for most movies, with only a small number of independent films still shooting with their own interim union agreements.

It’s also prevented stars from promoting the films they’ve already produced, dampening a season usually filled with Oscar campaign interviews and holiday previews.

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