In a surprise, talks between SAG-AFTRA and the major studios and streamers have suddenly collapsed, with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) announcing it is “suspending” discussions. The talks that lasted for under two weeks have hit a roadblock and stopped mostly because of the tremendous difference in how the revenue sharing from streaming shows that turn out successful should be done.
SAG-AFTRA has been asking for a stake in streaming content profits, believed to be around 2% of potential income. The AMPTP, representing the studios, called it an “untenable economic burden,” estimating that this one demand would cost them more than $2.4 billion over a new three-year contract or in excess of $800 million annually.
This negotiation breakdown came after 91 days from SAG-AFTRA’s strike notice. The guild issued no statement on the suspension, but an AMPTP spokesman hoped that it would lead to productive dialogue. The actors’ union’s revenue sharing proposal was one of their major issues and was also mentioned among the reasons for going on strike in July this year.
With the strike impacting the entertainment industry, it remains uncertain when production will resume. This suspension followed shortly after a letter from the Directors Guild of America (DGA) to its members crowing over some gains gotten from its deal with studios, an agreement that was coolly received. It was floated as a potential explanation for why the DGA agreement would prevent a SAG-AFTRA strike.
With no easy solution on the horizon, the impasse in negotiations presents complications for an industry that’s desperately trying to rebound.