SAG-AFTRA Strike Continues As AI Clause Proves To Be Major Sticking Point

SAG-AFTRA Strike Continues As AI Clause Proves To Be Major Sticking Point SAG-AFTRA Strike Continues As AI Clause Proves To Be Major Sticking Point

As the actors union reviews what's been referred to as the AMPTP's "last, best and final offer," the AI clause continues to be a major sticking point...

By MarkCassidy - Nov 07, 2023 07:11 AM EST
Filed Under: Other

We hoped a resolution would be found during Monday's latest round of negotiations, but the SAG-AFTRA strike is set to continue as the union responds to the AMPTP’s “Last, Best & Final” offer.

As expected, AI has remained the biggest sticking point for the actors union.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers is reportedly attempting to secure AI scans for Schedule F performers — guild members who earn more than the minimum for series regulars ($32,000 per TV episode) and feature films ($60,000). The suggested clause would require studios and streamers to pay to scan the likeness of these performers, but SAG-AFTRA is determined to add a compensation for the re-use of AI scans, as AMPTP’s current offer would allow the studios and streamers to secure the right to use scans of deceased performers without the consent of their estate or SAG-AFTRA.

“This is one of the biggest reasons SAG did not accept the ‘last, best and final’ offer from the AMPTP. We could not allow that language to stand,” says THR's union-side source. “This is massive. Every A-, B-, C-, D- and E-lister — all the higher-paid performers — who think this is a minimum wage strike, they must know they are in this fight. They have to realize that this is about protecting them. This is their strike now when they realize what’s on the line. The people who launched the campaign to take a deal — they’d be f—ked if we took this deal with that in there.”

“We think it’s not just reasonable, but is absolutely vital to the sustainability of the performance industry,” the source added. “They can’t have that loophole to exploit performers. … [The Schedule F AI language in the AMPTP’s proposal] behooves them to have you dead, in that they need consent when you’re alive but not when you’re dead.”

As far as we know, the major bone of contention for the studios is still SAG-AFTRA asking for a 2% cut of streaming revenue, which company executives believe is simply not a realistic demand. The AMPTP claims that this would end up costing the companies more than $800 million per year and “create an untenable economic burden.”

A counteroffer was taken to the AMPTP on Monday, but it sounds like this is going to drag on a little longer (today marks the 117th day of the SAG-AFTRA strike).

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dragon316 - 11/7/2023, 7:12 AM
Want this be over tired reading about this should have come to agreement eventually
Evansly - 11/7/2023, 7:25 AM
@dragon316 - Hopefully they strike that verbiage so they can move on. Until then studios will lose profits and have no one to promote the movies they have left
AwesomePromoz - 11/7/2023, 11:32 AM
This is going to drag out, because the offer to own peoples' likeness is inhuman and evil...

But we are going to get a lot of reality-based stuff in the meantime, meaning more Taylor Swift concerts, more Bachelor and Real Hosewives shows, and possibly more sports. The studios will find a way to make due, and eventually the actors will have to find a way to get paid. But more strikes will be the order of the day as studios keep attempting to hoard profits and exploit workers.
Godzilla2000Zer - 11/7/2023, 7:25 AM
Somebody gotta give but the studios should just drop the AI issue.
Vigor - 11/7/2023, 7:57 AM
@Godzilla2000Zer - they should. But AI is the next frontier and execs see dollar signs. Since they care about dollars over people, it's not too surprising that they're trying this. I'm glad that the union are putting their foot down.
Origame - 11/7/2023, 8:06 AM
@Godzilla2000Zer - the technology is out there and is being used. They aren't dropping it because that's not how industry works. Hence why the deal with writers is that AI be used but not counted as a writer.
marvel72 - 11/7/2023, 7:35 AM
Final offer? So no more movies and shows, if the actors don't agree to the deal.
Reginator - 11/7/2023, 7:38 AM
@marvel72 - if it comes to an impasse, maybe the union will be replaced with non union workers.
Vigor - 11/7/2023, 7:55 AM
@marvel72 - it's just lawyer talk. It means it's their final internally agreed upon offer BEFORE the other party sees it
Reginator - 11/7/2023, 7:37 AM
Technology is catching up to those that thought themselves irreplaceable but are actually the least needed professions. Its about time the "creative class" gets a taste of what everyone else has had to face since the industrial revolution.
noahthegrand - 11/7/2023, 7:57 AM
@Reginator - so you want people to lose their jobs out of a sense of spite? What do you like about superhero comics again?
Origame - 11/7/2023, 8:08 AM
@noahthegrand - if they lose their jobs, they've done that to themselves.
Reginator - 11/7/2023, 9:03 AM
@noahthegrand - not spite. the unions striking end up showing their employers how little that are actually needed. Ive been through several strikes and almost always there is a reduction in employees after the strike is resolved because the employer finds ways to streamline the organization. Hollywood actors and writers seemed to believe they were immune from having to deal with technological progress and they are becoming less and less necessary. Welcome to the real world hollywood.
mpk1988 - 11/7/2023, 10:01 AM
@noahthegrand - Spite? What the hell did you understand from what he wrote? This is the way the world works - progress and technology means change. A while ago, people were telling blue collar workers to learn to code. This is the same - progress in society leads to change. People need to adapt.
NathimusPrime - 11/7/2023, 10:32 AM
@mpk1988 - what's there to even adapt too? What can't be replaced with automation and advanced enough AI.
FinnishDude - 11/7/2023, 2:26 PM
@NathimusPrime - Actual creativity and innovation
NathimusPrime - 11/7/2023, 5:53 PM
@FinnishDude - I agree, I was more pointing out that it literally applies to everyone now that there job could be replaced by automation, in response to pointing at that actors are getting a taste of it.
OmegaDaGrodd - 11/7/2023, 7:37 AM
If The Marvels disappoints at the box office this week, studios are going to see first hand how much they need their leads out there marketing and creating viral moments for their movies pre-release. And that's only yhe latest example of how this is impacting things. Pretty soon, we're going to get back to pandemic level release gaps where there's just nothing coming out for weeks, and once the strikes end we'll be right back to pushing vfx studios to speed up work so studios can get movies finished fast and back in theaters

The pandemic was a once in a multiple lifetimes moment that had an unprecedented impact on the movie business, and all it took was 2.5 years for studios to recreate that same impact all by themselves
WeaponXCII - 11/7/2023, 7:42 AM
KWilly - 11/7/2023, 7:48 AM
The year is 2037.

The studios and SAG union has still not settled on a deal.

Origame - 11/7/2023, 8:08 AM
@KWilly - ...and no one really noticed.
KWilly - 11/7/2023, 8:12 AM
@Origame - Studios are definitely gonna notice when they have no material or money to work with. They're just acting like they're not scared.
Origame - 11/7/2023, 8:15 AM
@KWilly - I'm talking about the rest of the world.

It's not like Hollywood's been pumping out bangers recently that we've been missing out on.
DarthOmega - 11/7/2023, 8:29 AM
@Origame - True.
bobevanz - 11/7/2023, 11:08 AM
@Origame - but that doesn't help these crooked American companies, we're gonna have more classics return if they can't agree to not be a mustache twirling villain.
Spidey91 - 11/7/2023, 7:52 AM
800 million can't be too much when their CEOs make upwards of 200 but whatever
Forthas - 11/7/2023, 8:00 AM
I can't wait to see the negotiations when we have androids that are not discernable from human beings. The AMPTP will be so happy they will not know what to do with themselves.
FlopWatchers5 - 11/7/2023, 8:03 AM
burn it all down baby. we are officially entering the dystopian age in society. Hollywood won’t be used to distract you 🤷🏾‍♂️🍤
Scarilian - 11/7/2023, 8:13 AM
@BiggieMac4Sauce -
The collapse of Hollywood could actually be an improvement for society.
FlopWatchers5 - 11/7/2023, 8:29 AM
@Scarilian - I would agree with you but because we have sm and ai, those parasites will just move on it the next tool in the shed to further indoctrinate and push agendas lol.

its f ucked either way 🤷🏾‍♂️
Izaizaiza - 11/7/2023, 8:43 AM
@Scarilian - are you serious? Don't you watch movies and TV?
Reginator - 11/7/2023, 10:18 AM
@Scarilian - 100%
Nightwing1015 - 11/7/2023, 9:13 AM
How is this any different from what's already been happening though? For example, Christopher Eccleston doesn't want anything to do with Doctor Who. But he's still on all the actions figures, comic books, video games and merch. Studios have always owned the likenesses of actors whether they are dead or alive.
bobevanz - 11/7/2023, 11:09 AM
@Nightwing1015 - that's a great point
Dotanuki - 11/7/2023, 12:27 PM
@bobevanz - hardly. This is more related to using Eccleston’s likeness to make more live action DW movies/tv shows into perpetuity. Of course the use of his likeness in those other mediums was all negotiated beforehand as well. Why do you think certain actors don’t allow their likeness to be used for action figures, etc. It’s an agreement between the actor and the studio, not just free use at the behest of the studio.
Nightwing1015 - 11/7/2023, 1:00 PM
@Dotanuki - Yeah and it'll be negotiated in this instance with the studios also. So what's the difference?
Dotanuki - 11/7/2023, 1:33 PM
@Nightwing1015 - well no shit it can be negotiated. Anything can be negotiated. Was that the point you were trying to make?

But this is a seismic shit in allowing studies to use an actors likeness without their permission. Clearly this is a much larger issue with broader ramifications than simply using an actors likeness for a comic book.
Nightwing1015 - 11/7/2023, 2:27 PM
@Dotanuki - I'm saying this kind of clause would prevent any such negotiation right? This is what the union is trying to stop right?? Because studios would obviously need permission - they would just write this into actors contracts.

And I don't really see why a comic books/video games/ action figures should be treated all that differently. It's still using an actors likeness in ways they might not want.
AnthonyVonGeek - 11/7/2023, 10:00 AM
Anyone else tired of having to hear about rich entitled celebs trying to make us feel bad for them cause they’re wanting more money
Evansly - 11/7/2023, 10:14 AM
@AnthonyVonGeek - It is extremely dishonest to act like the only ones who will benefit from this are just the rich and entitled. There are plenty of people who deserve a living wave and are fighting for it
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