100 Days In: Hollywood Actors’ Strike – Unresolved and Uncertain Future
As screenwriters return to their desks, film and TV actors continue their picket lines, marking the 100th day of their longest-ever strike. Talks between the actors and studios had initially resumed on October 2, 2 1/2 months after the strike began, raising hopes. However, the same studio executives who recently reached an agreement with striking writers were less amicable in the actors’ negotiations. After a series of tepid talks with minimal progress and infrequent sessions, the studios abruptly terminated discussions on October 11, citing the actors’ costly demands and a wide gap in their positions.
Fran Drescher, President of SAG-AFTRA, expressed her disappointment, emphasizing the limited meeting opportunities with the studios and their seemingly premature withdrawal from negotiations. She questioned their understanding of the negotiation process and their decision to walk away from the table.
According to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the studios’ decision to cease negotiations was influenced by the actors’ request for a fee from each subscriber to streaming services. The AMPTP stated that SAG-AFTRA had presented an ultimatum to the member companies, insisting on this subscriber fee and other unresolved issues as a condition for ending the strike. The member companies found the subscriber tax economically burdensome and responded accordingly.
Ted Sarandos, co-CEO of Netflix and a participant in the negotiations, lamented the setback, acknowledging the negative impact on their progress.
In response, SAG-AFTRA leaders argued that framing the subscriber fee as a tax on customers was misleading and that it was the studio executives themselves who sought to shift from a popularity-based model to one based on the number of subscribers.
The stage is now set for the resumption of negotiations next week, with several studio executives expected to join. The Hollywood actors’ strike, reaching the historic 100-day mark, remains in a critical and uncertain phase.