Hollywood Studios and SAG-AFTRA Nearing Deal as AI Language is Adjusted

After 117 days of striking, Hollywood’s major studios and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) are inching closer to a contract agreement, with progress made on the contentious issue of artificial intelligence (AI).

SAG-AFTRA and Studios Seek Common Ground in the Age of AI

Union negotiators and representatives of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) met on Monday night to discuss the remaining unresolved issues, with AI taking center stage. The two sides reportedly made significant headway, potentially paving the way for a breakthrough.

SAG-AFTRA leadership is scheduled to meet with the union’s negotiating committee this afternoon to assess the latest developments, particularly the progress on AI. There is cautious optimism that these discussions could lead to a final agreement.

Despite the progress, SAG-AFTRA issued a statement on Monday afternoon acknowledging that “several essential items” remain unresolved, including AI. The union submitted its latest formal proposal to the AMPTP on Monday morning, following a marathon 12-hour negotiating session on Sunday.

Aside from AI, the union and studios are still negotiating a mechanism for allocating a new bonus in streaming residuals. The studios have proposed awarding actors a 100% bonus on their standard streaming residual if they appear on one of the most-watched shows on a platform.

SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists)

The deal also includes a significant increase in minimum rates, which the studios have described as the largest in 40 years. The increase is expected to be in the 7%-8% range in most cases, which is less than the 11% that SAG-AFTRA sought but higher than the 5% that the AMPTP agreed to in deals with the writers and directors unions.

The AMPTP presented its “last, best and final” offer on Friday. On Saturday, a group of CEOs held a Zoom meeting with Fran Drescher, the president of SAG-AFTRA, and Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the chief negotiator, to urge them to accept the deal.

A deal is urgently needed to save part of the broadcast TV schedule as more and more feature films are postponed due to the ongoing strike.


While the union’s negotiating committee has yet to approve the changes agreed upon on Monday, there have been reports of progress on some contentious AI-related issues, such as handling AI consent in the event of an actor’s death. However, the union did not achieve all of its objectives.

The AMPTP has pledged to continue meeting every two and a half years until the next negotiation to discuss AI as the technology evolves.

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