As the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) strike concluded after grueling, drawn-out negotiations extending beyond 100 days, hopes clashingly tumbled for the SAG-AFTRA actor's strike. No surprising turn of events evolved, no deal has been struck yet. Illustratively outlining the frustration and disappointment, SAG-AFTRA reported an unexpected low; the studios proposed a deal apparently lesser in value than the one originally presented before the strike set in motion.
Prospects of immediate resolution for the actors' strike that emerged on July 14, 2023, have withered radically. The critical knot in negotiations, clogging progress, revolves around Artificial Intelligence (AI) suggestions and mechanisms for equitable distribution of profits earned from streaming shows.
The union castigated the stance adopted by the studios, stating, "These companies refuse to protect performers from being replaced by AI, they refuse to increase your wages to keep up with inflation, and they refuse to share a tiny portion of the immense revenue YOUR work generates for them". This statement underpins the growing palpable tension between the two sides as they lock horns over the matter.
Despite the assertive steps by the union to untangle the gridlocked situation, including the transformation of their revenue share proposal, the studios have declined to adjust or respond optimistically. Moreover, the union accused the studios of resorting to intimidating strategies and falsely inflating the costs related to the proposal for public consumption.
SAG-AFTRA has also raised concerns about AI proposals, specifically about getting performers' consent on day one for their digital replicas usage throughout an entire cinematic universe or any franchise project.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), negotiating on behalf of the studios, voiced the chasm between the union and the studios, stating that the gap was not narrowing and the discussions were heading away from being productive. One of the union's offers was characterized as causing a massive strain of $800 million per year through its viewership bonus.
Regarding AI, AMPTP asserts it offered terms, which included various performers' consents for creating and using digital replicas along with firm restrictions about use without proper explicit consent.
However, till resolution arrives, the standstill in negotiations could cause deterioration in film release plans. Highly-anticipated movies like Dune 2, Poor Things, Gladiator 2, and Deadpool 3 have bore the brunt, with work at a standstill and substantial postponements expected.
While the industry anxiously anticipates news on the strike's resolution, enthusiasts are recommended to stay attentive to updates surrounding their much-awaited movie releases for the rest of the year.
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