SAG, studios making progress

Negotiations will resume Saturday

The Screen Actors Guild and the majors have completed four days of bargaining with vague indications of progress as both sides remained cordial — despite the tough issues facing negotiators.

SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers issued a joint statement early Friday evening that said negotiations had concluded for the day and would resume Saturday.

As with the previous sessions, neither side provided any further details. The lack of rhetoric this week can be taken as a sign that — at the very least — the reps for the guild and the majors have made enough progress to move past presenting initial positions.

Although there’s no official news blackout, the lack of fireworks may help temporarily cool off concerns about a strike, which could start as soon as SAG’s feature-primetime contract expires June 30.

Both sides have stressed that their primary concerns have to do with paying actors for work performed or re-used in new-media platforms. And SAG president Alan Rosenberg has emphasized that the new deal must take into account the unique concerns of actors.

The two sides are scheduled to take Sunday off and then resume meetings on Monday for the next six days until April 26. AFTRA, which split off from joint bargaining with SAG in late March, is scheduled to begin its talks on its handful of primetime shows on April 28.

The start of the AFTRA talks puts pressure on SAG to wrap up a deal by the end of next week since it’s anticipated AFTRA would then be able to reach an agreement quickly and use that deal to sign up more shows in areas of shared jurisdiction.

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