SAG-AFTRA agrees to mediation, with strike deadline just hours away

CC: Vincentas Liskauskas (Unsplash)

US actors’ union SAG-AFTRA has agreed to federal mediation, but accused the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) of a “cynical ploy” to further extend negotiations, with the deadline to reach a deal just hours away.

With Hollywood facing the possibility of the first simultaneous actors and writers strike in more than six decades, SAG-AFTRA said last night that it had agreed to a “last-minute request” from the AMPTP to work with mediators in contract negotiations.

However, after pushing back the original 30 June deadline, the union said that it would not extend again. If an agreement is not reached by the end of today, its 160,000 members will go on strike.

In a statement, SAG-AFTRA said that it does not believe the AMPTP has any real intention of reaching a new agreement and said that its members “will not be manipulated by this cynical ploy to engineer an extension when the companies have had more than enough time to make a fair deal.”

The WGA has been on strike for more than two months already, with no resolution with the AMPTP in sight.

Concerns for both actors and writers include receiving adequate compensation from residuals payments when their work goes to streaming services, as well as protections amid the increasing use of artificial intelligence, which can be used to write scripts and even create digital doppelgangers of actors and their voices.

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