One hundred days after the initiation of a strike by the U.S. Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) against major Hollywood studios, the union’s chief negotiator, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, emphasized that they will not participate in the Oscars without a new agreement.
“With a new agreement, the awards season will proceed as usual. Without one, our members, including leading actors, will not be involved in any way in the awards season,” Crabtree-Ireland stated on Saturday.
He also mentioned that they will have a more detailed plan on this matter in the coming weeks because currently, all their efforts are focused on “seeking a fair solution” alongside the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
The U.S. film awards season includes internationally recognized accolades such as the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards, the Critics Choice Awards, and the Oscars, which are set for March 10.
In this time of adversity and hardship, our unwavering solidarity, along with that of our sister union members, is truly inspiring. For 98 days, we’ve stood strong, united in our pursuit of justice, fairness, and the value we bring to the industry. 1/21 pic.twitter.com/dTa8TPchTa
— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra)
October 20, 2023
However, doubts about the celebration and impact of these awards in their 2024 editions are growing among industry professionals as SAG-AFTRA’s pickets enter their 100th day.
They are demanding regulated use of artificial intelligence and increased residual rights, which means extra bonuses every time one of their productions is re-aired on a platform.
Crabtree-Ireland made his stance very clear, emphasizing that their focus is now on “returning to the negotiating table” after AMPTP abruptly left the talks ten days ago. “No agreement can be reached without negotiation. AMPTP’s departure was highly irresponsible,” he said.
Two weeks ago, the context seemed promising for all parties following an agreement with the studios achieved by the U.S. Writers Guild (WGA) after months of a joint strike with the actors. However, this collapsed due to the residual rights issue.
SAG-AFTRA unsuccessfully proposed a 2 percent share of revenues from studios and streaming services due to their contribution to the industry.
They later introduced the possibility of compensation of 57 cents for every new subscriber to the platforms, which was also rejected.This created a “too wide gap” for the studios and a “legitimate contribution” for Hollywood actors, keeping the negotiations at an impasse.
“In truth, there was no response from their side. They said there were too many differences and walked away from the negotiating table. But in negotiations, both parties need to communicate and make offers,” SAG-AFTRA’s chief negotiator elaborated.
Crabtree-Ireland was optimistic about the potential for understanding regarding regulated AI use in the industry because he believed it was “of vital importance for the future” of the business, and an agreement in this regard “is not as far off as in other economic matters.”
He denied reports of disagreements among A-list actors – the most renowned and highly paid in the industry, with figures like George Clooney, among others – regarding the union’s policies.
Crabtree-Ireland asserted that they have consistently expressed their support for the negotiating committee and its president Fran Drescher. While they have their own ideas, like other members, this doesn’t indicate a lack of support on their part.