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No Double Strike (For Now): SAG-AFTRA, AMPTP Extend Contract Talks
The actors guild and studios have given themselves another week and a half to hammer out a deal
Friday night after-hours news: Contract talks between Hollywood’s major studios and the guild representing more than 160,000 actors have been extended for another week and a half, averting a strike for the moment.
The three-year TV/theatrical/streaming contract was initially set to expire tonight at 11:59 p.m. But the AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA have agreed to push that deadline to Wednesday, July 12 at 11:59 p.m. in a bid to come to an agreement that will satisfy both parties.
Per the joint statement that just went out:
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) have agreed to an extension of the 2020 TV/Theatrical contracts. The agreements, which were set to expire at 11:59 p.m. PT tonight, will now expire on July 12, at 11:59 pm PT. The parties will continue to negotiate under a mutually agreed upon media blackout.
Neither organization will comment to the media about the negotiations during the extension.
This was largely expected, given reported leaks out of the talks that had pointed to an extension for at least another week, not to mention SAG pres Fran Drescher’s very cheery update last weekend that things were “extremely productive.”
But that doesn’t mean an actors’ strike won’t happen. If negotiations still break down by the end of the day on July 12, then we could be in for another work stoppage on top of the WGA strike that’s been in play since May 2. Recall: SAG-AFTRA’s voting membership authorized a strike with nearly 98 percent backing it (i.e. nearly 65,000 members), and over 1,000 actors—from Jamie Lee Curtis to Paul Giamatti to Pedro Pascal—signing a letter to SAG leadership affirming that they are “prepared to strike” if necessary.
That’s a powerful card to have on the table, particularly with the writers picketing past the 60-day mark. For what it’s worth: July 12 is also the day Emmy nominations come out. Coincidence?
Actors, writers: any thoughts about which way this thing could go? Talk to me: email@example.com.