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AI Proves Knotty But Deal Still Possible This Week
SAG-AFTRA expected to present latest counter by end of day Wednesday
Like L.A. traffic, the last mile of talks between SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood’s studios and streamers has been stop and go.
The ever-thorny topic of artificial intelligence continues to stymie a path to a deal. I’m told that some AI-related complications have been introduced, though so weighed down by complexity are these issues that no one can describe them to me with much clarity. Still, I’m told that both sides are “moving plausibly” closer on the issue of AI.
The actors and studios are taking time to ponder, in what is described by a source close to the negotiations, as a “mutually discussed alternative concept to resolve a sticking point” related to AI.
Nevertheless, the actors union was expected to present its latest package of counterproposals to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers by day’s end, the same person tells me. Which would mean no deal today, as the studios’ negotiators would have to take time to review the newest language.
So anyone expecting a deal by morning will likely have to hold their breath. A deal later this week is still quite possible, I’m told, but if we had one of those election-era sentiment needles, I think it might just have wiggled back a few notches in certainty.
Both parties are expected to meet Thursday.
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ICYMI: Strike News
In response to criticisms of her eclectic negotiating style, SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher sent out a video emphasizing her intent to not “emulate male energy to lead.” “I can be exactly who I am, I can lead with intellect, I can lead with wisdom, I can lead with empathy, I can be me,” she said. “I can lead with a sense of dignity and fairness and morality and I can still rock a red lip. And I can lead and still hold on to a little plush toy in the shape of a heart that I call ‘love.’ Wish me luck.” (The Hollywood Reporter)
The Writers Guild Awards are being moved back to April in order for more movies and TV shows to be submitted and considered. (Variety)
The American Film Market, taking place from Oct. 31 to Nov. 5 in Santa Monica, has been boosted by rumblings of a close to the strike, with several big projects announced just before the market opened. “For a lot of buyers, the big question is: ‘Is this actually happening’?” says David Garrett of Mister Smith Entertainment. “In a lot of cases, the answer is: We can’t be sure.” (The Hollywood Reporter)
November would normally bring about loads of awards season publicity events, but the strike has put a noticeable damper on Oscars season. (Awards Daily)
Be warned, studios: Diddy put his billion-dollar net worth to interesting use Wednesday, posting a high production-value Instagram video in which he portrays Batman and ends the strike. In it, he forces a Hollywood studio executive to say the strike is over, then leaves him out on the street undressed, gagged and next to a sign reading, “The strike is over! Love, The Darkest Knight.” (Billboard)
Additional reporting for ICYMI: Strike News by Matthew Frank.
Disclosure: Elaine Low is an inactive member of SAG-AFTRA.