On November 4, 2023, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) received what the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) described as their “last, best, and final offer” to end the ongoing actors strike, which began on July 14, 2023.
SAG-AFTRA issued a statement regarding the supposed “final” offer on November 6, 2023. The statement indicates that AI remains a major sticking point in the ongoing negotiations.
“This morning our negotiators formally responded to the AMPTP’s ‘Last, Best & Final’ offer,” the statement reads. “Please know every member of our TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee is determined to secure the right deal and thereby bring this strike to an end responsibly. There are several essential items on which we still do not have an agreement, including AI. We will keep you informed as events unfold.”
Why AI remains a major sticking point in SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP’s negotiations
According to sources speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, the language used in the “final” offer allows AMPTP studios and streamers to secure AI scans of Schedule F performers (SAG-AFTRA members earning more than the minimum for series regulars and films) for an unspecified price.
These AMPTP companies would be able to use AI scans of performers (including deceased performers) without anyone’s consent. SAG-AFTRA is reportedly looking to attach clauses requiring consent and compensation for the re-use of any and all AI scans.
“This is one of the biggest reasons SAG did not accept the ‘last, best and final’ offer from the AMPTP. We could not allow that language to stand,” one SAG-AFTRA source told The Hollywood Reporter. “This is massive. Every A-, B-, C-, D- and E-lister — all the higher-paid performers — who think this is a minimum wage strike, they must know they are in this fight. They have to realize that this is about protecting them. This is their strike now when they realize what’s on the line. The people who launched the campaign to take a deal — they’d be f—ked if we took this deal with that in there.”