Title: Hollywood Studios Make Progress on AI Concerns in Contract Agreement with SAG-AFTRA
Hollywood’s major studios have taken significant steps towards resolving issues related to artificial intelligence (AI) in their contract agreement with the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), according to recent developments. After a crucial meeting on Monday, the two parties engaged in constructive discussions to address the pending AI concerns that have been in the spotlight for the past 10 days.
Today, SAG-AFTRA leaders are scheduled to convene to review the latest advancements in AI negotiations and potentially finalize the deal. Notwithstanding the progress made so far, there are still notable differences between the two sides regarding various essential elements, including AI, as stated by the union in an official statement.
In their latest proposal, presented on Monday following an intense 12-hour workday on Sunday, the union not only focused on AI concerns but also worked on devising a mechanism to allocate new bonuses for streaming residuals. To reward actors who appear on highly-watched shows on streaming platforms, the studios have proposed a 100% bonus.
Moreover, the contract agreement includes a substantial increase in minimum rates, touted as the most significant raise in 40 years by the studios. Nevertheless, this increase falls short of the 11% raise sought by SAG-AFTRA, although it exceeds the 5% offer extended to writers and directors unions by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
In an effort to expedite agreement acceptance, a Zoom meeting was held on Saturday between the CEOs of major studios and SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher, along with chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland. This meeting aimed to encourage the union to endorse the final offer presented by the AMPTP on Friday, considering the urgent need to salvage portions of the broadcast TV schedule and prevent further delays in feature films.
While progress has been made, uncertainties remain regarding the endorsement of the union’s negotiating committee with regards to the recent changes made during Monday’s discussions. Although SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP have achieved a common understanding on certain AI issues, such as AI consent in the event of an actor’s death, there are still remaining items on the list that require agreement.
To ensure continuous progress in AI advancements, the AMPTP has committed to ongoing meetings over the next two and a half years until the next negotiation.
With contributions from Cynthia Littleton, the situation surrounding AI concerns in Hollywood’s contract agreement with SAG-AFTRA continues to evolve rapidly. Both sides are actively working to bridge the remaining gaps and finalize an agreement that addresses the issues at hand.
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