×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

SAG-AFTRA, Producers Making Progress as Midnight Strike Deadline Looms

SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood’s production companies were making progress toward a possible deal with less than eight hours left before the current master contract expires.

If no deal is reached by 12:01 a.m. PDT on Saturday, the union has promised to seek a strike authorization vote from its members.

Bargaining continued Friday afternoon under a month-long news blackout at the headquarters of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers in Sherman Oaks, Calif. Sources told Variety that negotiators have been able to move closer to agreement on several issues such as travel allowances and compensation for high-budget productions for streaming services but cautioned there’s no guarantee of a tentative deal getting made by the end of Friday.

It’s possible that SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP could extend the current contract if both sides believe they are making enough progress to merit continuing the negotiations. In 2014, the two sides agreed to three consecutive 24-hour extensions after the contract expired before announcing an agreement in the early hours of July 4.

Hollywood has been on high alert about a possible strike this week. After making no disclosure during the negotiations, the SAG-AFTRA national board announced on June 25 that it had passed a unanimous vote that it would seek a strike authorization from its membership unless a deal was reached by the expiration of the contract. The leaders said at that point that the AMPTP had been pushing for “outrageous rollbacks” in the negotiations — but never disclosed what the specifics were.

Members who attended a closed-door meeting at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City, Calif., on June 28 indicated that an array of issues remained unresolved. The contract covers work by SAG-AFTRA members in primetime television and feature films and generates more than $1 billion in annual compensation. The union has about 160,000 members.

SAG-AFTRA began campaigning this week for support of the strike authorization with a #actorsunited hashtag on Twitter and set four more meetings for members to support the authorization. Upcoming meetings have been set for New York on July 6, the Washington, D.C., area on July 7, Atlanta on July 8, and Chicago on July 9. SAG-AFTRA has not disclosed the schedule for sending out ballots, so it’s unclear when a strike would begin.

SAG-AFTRA has been on strike against 11 video game companies since October over issues covering voice actors. A significant portion of video game voice work is performed outside of the union’s jurisdiction.

SAG-AFTRA has held four rallies in the Los Angeles area since the strike began but the video game companies have not budged and no new talks have been scheduled.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Alma Harrel Honey Boy

    'Honey Boy' DP Natasha Braier Took Nonfiction Approach to Fiction Feature

    The “Honey Boy” script that cinematographer Natasha Braier read prior to signing on with first-time narrative feature director Alma Har’el to shoot star and writer Shia LaBeouf’s intimate memoir-focused arthouse film was psychologically rich and emotionally fraught with no visual cues. It was a deep character study of the beginnings of his acting career with [...]

  • Queen and Slim

    AFI Fest Puts Nonfiction in the Spotlight

    Documentaries will play a more prominent role than ever before at the AFI Fest, which kicks off Nov. 14. While AFI Fest 2018 featured 15 documentary features playing in various categories, this year’s edition of Los Angeles-based fest will play host to 22 feature docs, 16 of which will screen in the fest’s new documentary [...]

  • Ayesha Curry and Stephen Curry attends

    Ayesha Curry Honored With Variety's Vivant Tastemaker Award at Napa Valley Film Festival

    The rooftop bar at the tony Archer Hotel in the heart of downtown Napa made a stunning backdrop for Variety’s Vivant party on Nov. 13. Vivant was launched at the Napa Valley Film Festival, which opened Nov. 13 with “Just Mercy.”  Variety executive VP of content Steven Gaydos introduced Variety Vivant Tastemaker honoree Ayesha Curry [...]

  • Dwayne Johnson

    Dwayne Johnson's 'Black Adam' Movie Sets Release Date

    Dwayne Johnson’s long-in-development “Black Adam” movie is slated to hit theaters just in time for the holidays. The New Line Cinema film film will debut on Dec. 22, 2021, five days after the release of James Cameron’s long-gestating “Avatar” sequel. Johnson has been attached to play the anti-hero for most of this decade. Jaume Collet-Serra, [...]

  • Sponge on the Run Trailer

    SpongeBob SquarePants Meets Keanu Reeves in 'Sponge on the Run' Trailer

    Millennials and Gen-Zers, say goodbye to the David Hasselhoff “SpongeBob” cameos of your childhood. According to the “Sponge on the Run” trailer, Keanu Reeves, or rather his floating head, will make an appearance in the upcoming film premiering May 22, 2020. The latest film in the SpongeBob franchise follows the yellow sponged hero and his [...]

  • CineAsia Conference Canceled Due to Hong

    CineAsia Conference Scrubbed Due to Hong Kong Protests

    Film Expo Group has scrubbed next month’s CineAsia conference hosted in Hong Kong, citing escalating violence in the city. “Due to the escalating violence and on-going anti-government protesting we felt it was in the best interest of all concerned to cancel the convention,” said Robert Sunshine, chairman of the Film Expo Group in a statement [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content