SAG-AFTRA, the union representing Hollywood actors and other artists, has set out its contract proposals – and allegedly the responses from the film and television studios – to shed more light on the impasse that led to their strike last week.
in one News SAG-AFTRA addressed its 160,000 members on Monday, accusing the film and television producers’ alliance of blocking their most important issues and not engaging in talks.
The guild also released a 12-page document detailing what it believes illustrates just how far apart the two sides were when SAG-AFTRA began its historic strike, which has seen actors and writers gather in the first such simultaneous work stoppage in more than 60 years connected.
“We went ahead because they were deliberately slow,” the union said. “After we agreed to their condensed negotiation plan, the AMPTP subjected us to repeated deadlocks and delays.”
The studio alliance said the SAG-AFTRA press release misrepresented the negotiations and was an attempt to “deliberately distort” the studios’ bids.
“The deal, which SAG-AFTRA canceled on July 12, is valued at more than $1 billion in wage increases, pension and health insurance contributions, and residual increases, and includes unique protections over the three-year term, including specifically with.” Respect for AI,” said AMPTP. “For SAG-AFTRA to claim that we have not been responsive to the needs of its members is disingenuous at best.”
The heated back-and-forth that reflects the war of words in the early days of the writers’ strike gives a sense of how much work still needs to be done to reach an agreement once the union and studios return to the negotiating table.
SAG-AFTRA went on the picket line Friday, joining members of the Writers Guild of America who have been on strike since May 2, fueling the labor movement.
The double strike is a devastating blow to the entertainment industry, handicapping television and film production at a time when studios and media companies are grappling with the shift to streaming, a box office recovery and an accelerating decline in pay-TV subscriptions.
The union asked for general wage increases of 11%, then 4% and 4% over the term of the three-year contract, and the studios offered 5%, 4% and 3.5%. The union said that given inflation in 2026, the studios’ offer would match members working for less than 2020 wages.
Another major sticking point has been AI technology, which is rapidly evolving and seen as a threat by many groups of workers.
SAG-AFTRA said it had proposed a “comprehensive set of provisions” for consent and compensation when a so-called digital recreation of an artist is made or when their performance is altered using artificial intelligence.
The union said the studios’ AI proposal would allow them to scan a background performer’s image for half a day’s wages and use it permanently without the performer’s consent. According to SAG-AFTRA, the studios also wanted the ability to make changes to cast members’ dialogue without consent.
The AMPTP has disputed SAG-AFTRA’s characterization of its offering, calling it “false” and stating that background actors would obtain their consent to use their digital images.
Other proposals, which will leave sides divided, should address the way streaming services have disrupted the industry by changing business practices.
For example, the union said it had proposed a revenue-sharing plan for shows and films on streaming platforms that would allow actors to share in the success of big hits online, but the studios declined without a counter-offer. SAG-AFTRA has not disclosed the details of its revenue-sharing proposal.
Other union proposals have met with insufficient response, SAG-AFTRA said, including on an issue related to race and justice.
The guild said it called for a requirement that all sets have qualified hair and makeup professionals and equipment for actors of color. According to the SAG-AFTRA document, the studios have made a tentative commitment to taking steps to ensure the appropriate qualified hair and makeup professionals are on set, but only for lead actors, not background actors.
SAG-AFTRA said the studios had not offered enough increases to health and pension contribution caps. The union said the studios also failed to comply with requests to increase allowances to cover the cost of relocating TV series regulars to other states and abroad.
The document mentioned some areas of the agreement, such as a travel allowance to allow access to reproductive health care and gender-specific care for artists working in countries where such care is restricted; and safeguards against stunt performers being painted to match the lead performer’s skin color. There was a consensus on the safety of performers who work with animals on set.
But it’s clear the sides remain at odds on key issues, and there’s no indication yet of when talks to resolve the actors’ or writers’ strike will resume.
Last week, the AMPTP accused the artists’ union of halting negotiations and released a document in which it bulleted out several offers to improve pay, including wages and final payments.
The studio group said it offered the highest percentage increase in minimums in 35 years; a 76 percent increase in foreign backlogs for streaming high-budget video-on-demand; “significant” increases in pension and health insurance contribution caps; as well as what it called a “groundbreaking” artificial intelligence proposal.
The alliance also said it had offered a 58 percent raise for leading actors (guest stars) on high-budget streaming programs and made a proposal to limit the requirements for actors to self-tapping auditions.
Despite the intervention of a federal mediator, both sides were unable to reach an agreement. The two sides have been in talks since June 7 and have already extended an original June 30 deadline to July 12.
Before talks began, SAG-AFTRA members voted 98% last month to authorize their leaders to call a strike if they cannot agree on a new treaty.