Negotiations between Hollywood studios and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) have been suspended, both groups have reported.
The union, which represents thousand of actors currently on strike, said in a message to members early Thursday that "it is with profound disappointment that we report the industry CEOs have walked away from the bargaining table after refusing to counter our latest offer."
Actors seek contracts that accommodate their work in new age of streaming services, as well as regulations to AI usage in the industry that protect their digital likeness and intellectual property. Studios in their statement Thursday said that the demands “would create an untenable economic burden," estimating that it would cost $800 million a year.
Actors express concerns about AI
In their statement, SAG-AFTRA accused the studios of "bully tactics" by "intentionally misrepresented to the press the cost of the above proposal — overstating it by 60 percent." They claimed that their offer "would cost the companies less than 57¢ per subscriber each year."
"We have negotiated with them in good faith, despite the fact that last week they presented an offer that was, shockingly, worth less than they proposed before the strike began," the union said. It is demanding “a modern contract that addresses modern issues.”
Studios' underwhelming offer comes as a shock to the striking actors, as they recently resolved the Hollywood writer's strike by agreeing to all of the striking writers' demands, including the biggest areas of contention such as regulating the use of artificial intelligence in writing, earning a living wage, requiring studios to have writing staff, honoring strikes from other unions, and earning residuals from streaming services.
"The companies are using the same failed strategy they tried to inflict on the WGA – putting out misleading information in an attempt to fool our members into abandoning our solidarity and putting pressure on our negotiators. But, just like the writers, our members are smarter than that and will not be fooled," SAG-AFTRA's statement continued.
"We feel the pain these companies have inflicted on our members ... We have sacrificed too much to capitulate to their stonewalling and greed. We stand united and ready to negotiate today, tomorrow, and every day."